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Gov. Northam signs executive directive to ensure access to affordable, quality health care coverage for Virginians

Northam said meaningful health coverage remains unaffordable for too many Virginians.

RICHMOND, Va. — Governor Ralph Northam on Tuesday issued Executive Directive Five, which will direct actions to increase the number of Virginians enrolled in quality, affordable health care coverage.

In 2019, Medicaid expansion in the Commonwealth is providing access to health coverage for more than 325,000 eligible Virginians who have enrolled. However, Northam said meaningful health coverage remains unaffordable for too many Virginians, due in large part to federal policies that have increased cost and decreased the quality of available coverage.

RELATED: Gov. Northam: Over 300,000 Virginian now enrolled in expanded Medicaid program

Executive Directive Five requires Virginia to explore strategies to reduce health insurance premiums statewide, and protect Virginians from federal uncertainty. 

“Health coverage should be both meaningful and affordable, but unfortunately, policies from Washington threaten to increase the number of families who are uninsured or underinsured,” said Governor Northam. “It’s more important than ever that we identify and implement policies at the state level that control costs and ensure that Virginians can afford to buy health insurance that covers their health care needs.”

The Secretary of Health and Human Resources, in collaboration with the Secretaries of Finance and Public Safety and Homeland Security, will review policies and programs and take actions to promote greater access and enrollment in quality, affordable health insurance coverage. 

RELATED: Senators urge Trump Administration to protect health coverage for people with preexisting conditions

The Secretary of Health and Human Resources will also work with state agencies, community partners, providers, health plans, and policymakers to implement policies and processes that will result in measurable and sustained improvement in access to affordable health care coverage. 

View the full Executive Directive Five below:

Finally, the Secretary of Health and Human Resources will develop data-driven strategies to create efficiencies in coverage and improve health outcomes, with a special focus on particularly vulnerable populations, including but not limited to: 

  • Pregnant women 
  • Justice-involved populations
  • Non-English speaking populations
  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Youth in foster care

The Secretary will also look for solutions to improve affordability through state innovations.