RD6 - Medical Care for Uninsured Individuals with Life-Threatening Conditions
Senate Joint Resolution 339 introduced by Senator George L. Barker (2009) was referred to the Joint Commission on Health Care to study ways to ensure that individuals with life-threatening conditions (ILTCs) receive the care they need, regardless of resources. Uninsured ILTCs can have significant difficulty affording their medical care needs and will not always be able to receive needed medical treatments and medications. Numerous programs are available for uninsured ILTCs to receive free and discounted care although eligibility and benefits vary significantly. Specialized assistance is often needed to enable ILTCs to find and access available resources.
Virginia provides funding for a number of programs that may allow uninsured ILTCs to receive medical care. The programs include:
• Virginia Cares Uninsured Program (VCUP)
• Virginia’s Uninsured Medical Catastrophe Fund (UMCF)
• Rx Partnership
• The Pharmacy Connection
• AIDS Drug Assistance Program/State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program
• Virginia Bleeding Disorders Program.
The Joint Commission on Health Care approved the following policy options in order to allow additional uninsured ILTCs to receive needed medical care.
• By letter of the JCHC Chairman, request that the Department of Social Services: (i) work with the Patient Advocate Foundation to communicate with agency case workers concerning Virginia Cares Uninsured Program through the most appropriate means, including a “broadcast message” and (ii) communicate with agency case workers concerning the Uninsured Medical Catastrophe Fund through the most appropriate means, including a “broadcast message.”
• By letter of the JCHC Chairman, request that the Department of Social Services emphasize patient assistance organizations and the Uninsured Medical Catastrophe Fund on the 2-1-1 Virginia website.
On behalf of the Joint Commission and staff, I would like to thank the numerous individuals who assisted in this study, including representatives from Access Now!, Carilion Clinic, Department of Health, Department of Medical Assistance Services, Department of Social Services, LINC, Patient Advocate Foundation, Rx Partnership, Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems, United Network for Organ Sharing, Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, and Virginia Health Care Foundation.