COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
August 7, 2009
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction
The goal of outreach for the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security Plan (FAMIS), Virginia's health insurance program for children, is to improve health outcomes of children from low-income families across the Commonwealth by informing, encouraging, and facilitating the enrollment of eligible children.
Since the 2002-2003 school year, the Virginia Department of Education has requested your assistance in providing information to parents about FAMIS. While the outreach efforts of school divisions and community organizations have been successful, there is more work to be done. There are approximately 500,000 children currently enrolled, but it is estimated that there are 120,000 uninsured children statewide that could be enrolled in FAMIS or FAMIS Plus (Children's Medicaid) today.
The Department of Education is again requesting your participation in outreach to uninsured students during the 2009-2010 school year. The attached table presents recommended activities and the anticipated dates of completion.
The Department of Medical Assistance Services has sent informational materials about the FAMIS program to schools for local outreach efforts. Community-based outreach organizations may contact school divisions directly to develop partnerships in this effort. We encourage you to work with them.
Please use these materials to share information with parents regarding the availability of low-cost health insurance through FAMIS or the availability of health services through FAMIS Plus. We are asking schools to provide information to parents through a variety of mechanisms (e.g., school nutrition program acceptance letters, kindergarten registration, or report cards).
The school nurse coordinator/contact person in each school division may continue to serve as the liaison among the school, the school division, the Department of Education, and the FAMIS office with regards to this effort.
Thank you again for your assistance in this very important initiative to improve the health of Virginia's children. If you have any questions, please contact Tia Campbell, school health specialist, at (804) 786-8671 or Tia.Campbell@doe.virginia.gov.
PIW / tbc
a. FAMIS Outreach Activity Guide Table (PDF)