RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WHSV) -- Virginia has the go-ahead for a major cost-saving experiment that simplifies and consolidates care for people eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare.
The federal government's approval of Gov. Bob McDonnell's Commonwealth Coordinated Care program clears one of several hurdles necessary before the state will allow the expansion of Medicaid to 400,000 Virginia working poor.
The CCC provides a single program serving more than 78,000 Virginians enrolled in both Medicare, the federal health insurance program for the disabled or people 65 or older, and Medicaid, the federal-state program for the poor, elderly, blind and disabled.
It begins Jan. 1. The state estimates savings of $11.3 million in its first fiscal year and twice that sum in the full fiscal year afterward.
Many people in the valley will also be helped. Melanie Harpine from the Harrisonburg/Rockingham Social Services Dept. believes it will be a big help. "One card. One call. One place that knows they're going to focus on your care. That really has to help these people, the vulnerable people," she said.