Health Care Bills to Keep an Eye On

By Kim Jones, Coordinator, Health Care for All-WV

WV-CAG and our partners in the Health Care for All-WV coalition are excited to share the news that the insulin and diabetic supplies bill (HB 2430) was introduced in the House by Delegate Rohrbach from Cabell County. This same bill had huge bipartisan support last year, but didn’t make it across the finish line due to an amendment that was added the last day of Session, which had little to do with the actual bill. 

Please check out the details of the bill and why it is especially important to West Virginians in this fact sheet on the insulin bill (HB 2430) from our friends at West Virginians for Affordable Health Care.

Next, contact House Health Committee Chair Delegate Amy Summers (R) Taylor Co. and ask her to put it on her committee’s agenda! If your delegate is on the Health Committee, contact them as well to show your support.

Another bill that could strengthen the health of West Virginians is SB 269, a bill that proposes to raise the Medicaid Dental Benefit from $1,000 to $2,000 a year for adult recipients. We believe dental and vision health are inseparable from health in general and are pleased to see this step being taken to help the many people in WV who desperately need dental services. SB 269 passed the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee unanimously on Thursday with no discussion and is now pending before the Finance Committee.

Mountain State Spotlight Article on Dental and Vision Benefits for Medicaid recipients

For those of you who are looking for a dentist in your area that takes the Medicaid dental benefit, Health Care for All created this interactive map to help. 

Finally, we expect the Affordable Medicaid Buy-In bill to be introduced this week.

It’s needed to counter the Medicaid ‘Cliff Effect’ when people make a little more money through getting a raise, more hours, or better job to help their families thrive, but in the process, that little increase can actually leave families with less money for rent, food, bills because they lose their affordable Medicaid insurance coverage. This ‘Cliff’ causes many workers to forgo income increases because they have far more to lose if they lose their vital health coverage. 

The bill provides a transition and affordable health insurance option to workers between the current Medicaid income eligibility cap or cliff of 138% of the Federal Poverty Level ($1,563 a month for an individual and $2,648 a month for a family of three) and 200% of the Federal Poverty Level ($2,265 a month for an individual and $3,838 for a family of three). Passing this will reduce the number of uninsured working West Virginians by 7,000-,9000. And will require no state funds. 

We will update you on these important bills next week and with your help we can get them passed and support the people of this state that struggle with getting proper affordable healthcare and medicines!

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