A new report shows Medicaid expansion in Va. could improve behavioral health care

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — A new report by the Department of Health and Human Services shows Medicaid expansion in Virginia could improve behavioral health care access.

The report shows more than 100,000 uninsured people in Virginia with mental illness or substance abuse disorders had incomes that could qualify them for expanded medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

It also finds people with behavior health needs make up nearly 35 percent of low-income uninsured people.

The report estimates that if Virginia expanded Medicaid, 16,000 fewer individuals would experience symptoms of depression and 24,000 additional individuals would report being in good or excellent health.

Matthew Moran, Director of Policy & Communications for the William Howell’s House of Delegates Speaker’s office,  released a statement.

“The House of Delegates has worked closely with Governor McAuliffe on the Governor’s Access Program, which provides mental health services to those making less than 100% of the federal poverty level. Instead of expanding Medicaid, the House has made this plan a priority,” Matthew Moran said.

Thirty states and D.C. have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

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