Superintendent’s Memo #224-15

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

August 28, 2015

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: FAMIS Health Care Coverage Outreach

The Department of Education’s goal of outreach for the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS) program, 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 enrollment of eligible children.

Since the 2002-2003 school year, the Virginia Department of Education has requested your assistance in providing information to parents and guardians about the Commonwealth’s FAMIS programs.  One in every four children across Virginia receives health insurance through FAMIS or FAMIS Plus (children’s Medicaid).  Altogether, that’s approximately 600,000 children.  While these enrollment numbers are reason to celebrate, there are still an estimated 64,000 eligible children who remain uninsured.

This year, the Department of Education has once again partnered with the Department of Medical Assistance Services to launch the 14th Annual FAMIS Back-to-School campaign to inform families about quality low cost health insurance available to their children through the FAMIS programs.  For the first time, FAMIS flyers were sent to every public school in Virginia! More than 1.5 million flyers in English and Spanish were made available to schools for distribution in students’ first day packets. These flyers are also available for reorder on the Cover Virginia website throughout the school year.  Also new this year, the attached digital banners and widgets are available to you for use on your websites to promote FAMIS enrollment.  These banners and widgets can be linked to

The Department of Education requests your participation in outreach to uninsured students throughout the 2015-2016 school year. Please use the attached Back to School & Beyond FAMIS Outreach document for additional ideas for FAMIS outreach during the school year.

Thank you for your continued support of this very important initiative to improve the health of Virginia’s children.  Should you have questions or require assistance, please contact Lauren Cunningham, Marketing and Outreach Communications Coordinator, Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services at (804) 371-5053 or by email at



  1. Back to School & Beyond FAMIS Outreach Ideas (PDF)