Health Care: Virginia urges residents to sign up

ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) -- In Virginia, plans are still being formed on how to get all of the uninsured residents living here in the Commonwealth to sign up for health insurance that will soon be required by law – or face a fine.

On Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a $1.2 million grant to Virginia’s Poverty Law Center and a $480,000 grant to Advanced Patient Advocacy (APA), LLC to help get Virginians to enroll.

Kevin Groner heads up APA, and says, “We will work with hospitals throughout Virginia to get uninsured patients coming in to sign up for health insurance.”

Following the recession, the number of uninsured Virginians went up 10-percent. The Virginia Health Care Foundation estimates that 15-percent of Virginians under 65 go without insurance. Of those, a vast majority are working families and US citizens.

A breakdown shows that 47-percent are white, 24-percent are black, 20-percent are Hispanic, and 7-percent are Asian.

Governor McDonnell opposed the Affordable Care Act, and like several other Republican-led states, left it to the federal government. Today, Virginia voters remain divided on the issue.