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Adapting Beyond the Pandemic

Less than a year ago, contemplating how to navigate safely in a pandemic could not have been farther from anyone’s mind. Yet, the global health crisis known as COVID-19 became the dominate force through 2021. Today we examine safe living beyond COVID-19  in the 2-part series, Adapting Beyond the Pandemic, with options that are achievable and effective.

Part 1, Safer Living Environments, presents strategies for safer living practices by the residential living advocate. The overview of guidance Adapting Beyond the Pandemic is highlight in grey below.

One-on-one or small group conversations are free of charge and held virtually via Zoom on Thursdays at 10:00 am. Email to select a date and reserve your Thursday slot. info@advocatesca.org In subject line mention: “Reserve Date for Safer Living Environments.”

Ease of Access for COVID-19 Vaccine

All 50 states have streamlined access to the COVID-19 vaccines free of charge. Telephone and online tools make it easy to find nearby vaccine locations, with many sites accepting walk-ins. Age restrictions have been removed for ages 12 and older. For details use the Centers For Disease Control tool “Find Your Vaccine” on vaccines.gov

In Virginia, everyone age 12 or older is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine now, with NO pre-registration required. Use the statewide hotline: 877-829-4682, or use the direct link Vaccinate.Virginia.gov for locations near you. Fairfax County residents may also use a dedicated pre-registration link here or Fairfax County hotline 703 324-7404. In suburban Maryland, Prince Georges County residents announcement in link: https://covidvaccinereg.princegeorgescountymd.gov/

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Adapting Beyond the Pandemic

Part 1: Safer Living Environments in COVID-19

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Virginia’s Enhanced Health Coverage for Adults

Until recently, few adults could qualify for Medicaid in Virginia, due to strict eligibility rules.  New rules under Virginia’s New Adult Health Coverage, commonly known as Expanded Medicaid, have changed that! Here’s is Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services at-a-glance.

For full details on Medicaid expanded eligibility, visit CoverVA.org

Virginia residents may check eligibility and apply for coverage immediately! New applicants, and even adults previously covered through the Federal Marketplace can now apply for low-or no-cost coverage under the new program.  Check your eligibility by answering 6 easy questions using link here. Questionnaire Determine Eligibility

To sign up, 2 ways are explained below. Certain new criteria may be of benefit to you or other adult family members, such as Virginia residents between ages of 19 and 64 who are not eligible for Medicare. Annual income must be at or below newly established levels shown in link to Income Chart above. Covered services will vary based on needs identified in the application process.

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Archived Resources

Caring Through COVID Community Conversations 

Register here for the June 15 virtual panel discussion Caring Through COVID,  a collaboration with Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce and Fairfax County Health District.  

Financial Assistance for Renters During COVID Public Health Emergency

Many workers who could not work remotely were hardest hit by closings and eventual layoffs during the Public Health Emergency (PHE). The Virginia Rent Relief Program is now accepting applications for renters who had difficulty staying current on rent payments.

2021 Special Healthcare Enrollment Period until May 15

The Federal government announced important opportunity in response to the public health emergency during the Coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 presented unprecedented challenges for the American public with millions of Americans facing uncertainty and experiencing new health problems during the pandemic.  Due to the exceptional circumstances and rapidly changing Public Health Emergency (PHE) impacting millions of people throughout the US every day, many Americans remain uninsured or underinsured and still need affordable health coverage. In accordance with the Executive Order issued today by President Biden, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) determined that the COVID-19 emergency presents exceptional circumstances for consumers in accessing health insurance and will provide a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for individuals and families to apply and enroll in the coverage they need. This SEP will be available to consumers in the 36 states served by Marketplaces that use the HealthCare.gov platform, and CMS will conduct outreach activities to encourage those who are eligible to enroll in health coverage. CMS strongly encourages states operating their own Marketplace platforms to make a similar enrollment opportunity available to consumers in their states. 

Fact Sheet Link – 2021 Open Season Information

Starting on February 15, 2021 and continuing through May 15, 2021, Marketplaces using the HealthCare.gov platform will operationalize functionality to make a SEP available to all Marketplace-eligible consumers who are submitting a new application or updating an existing application. These consumers will newly be able to access the SEP through a variety of channels: through HealthCare.gov directly, the Marketplace call center, or direct enrollment channels.  Additionally, consumers can work with a network of over 50,000 agents and brokers who are registered with the Marketplace, along with over 8,000 trained assisters, ready to assist consumers with their application for coverage.

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Mortgage and Utilities Assistance Announced for Local Residents 

Prince William County, Virginia.  The Emergency Housing Assistance Program will be provided to all eligible households who reside in Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, who have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19, with a one-time or short-term (no more than six consecutive months payments) of emergency mortgage and utility housing assistance to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.”  Reprinted 3/4/21

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Assistance with Winter Heating for Virginia Residents 2020-2021

It’s time to tap into two Virginia DSS program sources, for financial assistance with heating bills before the deadlines!  The Virginia Energy Crisis Program, and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) are actively helping now, before cold weather sets it.  Applications for financial assistance with an unexpected crisis, or for an ongoing need due to income obstacles. More details in blue synopsis below.

Deadlines, Applications and Contact Virginia DSS

November 13, 2020  for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program LIHEAP  OR                                                                             November 2 through March 15, 2021 for Energy Crisis Program applications.                       Contact today: Virginia DSS 855-635-4370

LIHEP Information                                                 Energy Crisis Program

      

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Local Health Department Seeks Community Comments

The Prince William Health District launched an acceptability survey COVID-19 vaccine  throughout the Greater Prince William area. Community members are asked to take a few moments to share their thoughts on the COVID-19 vaccine. This is an anonymous survey, meaning you do not give your name or any personal contact information. It is an important way to help Prince William Health District and partners understand the community’s acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine, and identify the places the community expects to get reliable information on the vaccine. Let your voice be heard by taking this short survey. 

English and Spanish versions of survey are in links. Survey in English  Tomar encuesta en español

For more information and help on COVID-19 topics that are important to you, visit Prince William County Health District pwcgov.org/COVID19  Printed 12/24/20