Inside the Governor's Access Plan

Mar 13, 2015

During its recent session, Virginia's General Assembly took action on the Governor's Access Plan, which is a limited mental health and medical benefits package for a group of low-income adults in the Commonwealth. But what does it do, who is eligible, and what are its limitations? 

Lawmakers approved a variation of the program granted by the federal government at the behest of Governor McAuliffe.  Mira Signer with the National Alliance for Mental Illness says the benefits are for the seriously mentally ill between the ages of 21 and 64.

“Between and 61 and 100% of the poverty level who are enrolled are getting mental health care, are getting access to doctors, are getting medications and so forth..”

Signer says the healthcare is limited but still significant.

“One of the significant things about the governor’s access plan is that it will cover things like medications – which, previously, if a person was uninsured, they’re kind of at a wing and a prayer.”

Patients would receive coordinated care.  To be eligible, one must meet a list of criteria, including a documented history of mental illness. An estimated 20-thousand people will be helped.

Signer says initially those who were at 100-percent of the poverty level could qualify but after General Assembly action to include only those who were at 60-percent or below, those who are above that threshold would be disenrolled after a year.