New Virginia laws in effect Jan. 1 provide healthcare improvements

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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) – A new year means new laws are going into effect in Virginia. These new laws will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

Many of these new additions are healthcare improvements for Virginians.

Here’s a breakdown of some changes that may affect your life in the new year.

SB 1003 Health insurance; mandated coverage for hearing aids for minors.

A new law will make obtaining hearing aids for kids and teens under the age of 18 easier.

The bill requires health insurers to provide hearing aids, if the doctor recommends them, at an affordable rate.

Families will receive up to $1,500 for their child’s hearing devices every 2 years.

HB 1433 Counseling Compact; licensure of professional counselors.

One new law will make it easier for counselors to practice across state lines. The Compact permits eligible licensed professional counselors to practice in Compact member states provided that they are licensed in at least one member state.

In January, Virginia will be the 20th state to join the Counseling Compact.

The goal is to create a pathway for counselors to treat patients across multiple states by reducing the number of regulations needed to transfer.

HB 2354 Health care provider panels; changes to provisions related to continuity of care.

A big change to healthcare insurance policies is underway. Insurance carriers must notify enrollees if a healthcare provider is removed from the carrier’s provider panel.

This new law aims to give a smoother transition and continuity of care for patients.

If your healthcare providers were removed, you can still receive care for up to 90 days after their removal.

Here’s what that means for policyholders:

– The bill provides that a provider is permitted to render health care services to any of the carrier’s enrollees for a period of at least 90 days from the date of a provider’s termination from the carrier’s provider panel, except when a provider is terminated for cause.

– Pregnant: The bill provides care for those medically confirmed to be pregnant at the time of a provider’s termination, the provider may continue care through the postpartum period.

– Life-Threatening Injuries: If it has been determined by a medical professional to have a life-threatening condition at the time of a provider’s termination of participation, the provider may continue care for up to 180 days.

– Inpatient Treatment: The provider may continue care until the enrollee is discharged from the inpatient facility.

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