Family Access to Medical Insurance (FAMIS)
What is FAMIS:
Family Access to Medical Insurance (FAMIS) Plan was created to meet the
health care needs of Virginia's uninsured children, up to age 18, in
working families whose earnings are above the maximum requirements for
Medicaid, with incomes too low to afford private health insurance.
Fauquier County's Enrollment Experience:
Lingamfelter recently provided up to date enrollment information, which
indicated that 57% of Fauquier County's estimated eligible children were
registered for FAMIS. The state average is 54%.
Perceived Barriers to Enrollment:
and Perceived Distance to Richmond:
and maintenance are currently handled from a central point in Richmond.
in Communicating with Richmond Office:
and staff indicate difficulties in speaking with appropriate persons in
Richmond, the persons they often talk to are clerical and are unable to
directly help them, and that there is a problem with follow-through.
has been a monthly fee of $15 per child, up to a maximum of $45, in
addition to co-pays for services. This fee has been temporarily waived by
of Information (i.e. Forms and Information in Spanish):
State has some forms and instructions in Spanish; however, there are not
readily available to local agencies.
potential client families are reluctant to enroll their children because
they do not want to be associated with a "welfare" program, with
Social Services or governmental assistance in general. Potential enrollees
are required to screen for Medicaid first.
is a lack of doctors in the County that accept Medicaid (FAMIS). Those
that do often have established quotas and are not accepting new patients.
There is also a need for additional participating dentists.
the Word Out:
all governmental programs, a good, sustained public awareness and outreach
campaign is essential to maximizing service delivery to the intended
Suggested Strategies to Address Each Barrier:
Real and Perceived Distance to Richmond:
September 2002, the responsibility of screening and enrollment was given
to local Social Services agencies. This will reduce or eliminate this
barrier for the initial process. At present, the State is continuing to
provide maintenance; however, it is anticipated that this responsibility
will also be delegated, in the future, to the local social services
Difficulties in Communicating with Richmond Office:
September 2002, local social services agencies became responsible for
screening and enrollment. This should eliminate this problem for those
phases of the process. It is hoped that the reduced workload on the
central office will increase responsiveness. It is anticipated that local
social services agencies will have this function delegated to them in the
future. The local social services agencies will institute procedures to
ensure that this state responsiveness problem does not duplicate itself at
the local level following the transfer of responsibilities.
barrier represents a choice for many potential enrollee families. Unlike a
co-pay, the nexus of which is easily understood, the $15 per month fee is
paid even if the enrollee is healthy. As this fee is, at least
temporarily, being waived by the State, no strategy is suggested at this
Lack of Information/Forms in Spanish:
forms associated with the change in screenings and enrollments are due to
be completed in September or October 2002, local social services agencies
are requesting and will soon begin distributing new forms, etc. Should the
County continue to have problems obtaining the appropriate forms/quantity,
we will request assistance from Delegate Lingamfelter. If that strategy is
not successful, the County may have to pay to have the forms developed
Social Services Stigma:
are two strategies that may provide assistance to citizens:
Public Health Department has agreed to serve as a dissemination point for
information and forms for screening and enrollment, as soon as it becomes
local social services agencies responsibility. Social Services will still
do the actual processing; however, it will be largely invisible to the
awareness. If through a press conference, news release and community
discussions, persons such as Delegate Lingamfelter, members of the Board
of Supervisors and Social Services Board, promote the program as a vital
and important safeguard for our children, it will help reverse any
negative perception and increase awareness.
Shortage of Providers:
good initial strategy is targeted outreach. Arranging for persons, such a
Delegate Lingamfelter and BOS/DSS Board member Winkelmann, to speak to the
Fauquier Medical Society to advise them of how important this plan is to
the community and request their participation in the program will help.
Getting the Word Out:
are several strategies available to us, as listed below:
with the School Division Health Advisory Committee to increase awareness
of the program and its importance.
with the Schools to have FAMIS information sent home at the same time the
free and reduced lunch information is sent home.
sure that BRIGHT Stars/Head Start Children receive a targeted
at least one parent-teacher night or similar program at each elementary
school each year.
to the local church association(s) to make sure they understand the
addition to new releases, the County could consider ad's in local papers
to increase awareness, putting information on cable channel 3 and asking
organizations like the hospital and the Town of Warrenton that have
established newsletters to include information on FAMIS.
part of our enrollment campaign DSS will host, with Health Department
participation, at least one community outreach/enrollment meeting in each