From Barbara Favola <[email protected]>
Subject Important New Laws Take Effect: January 1
Date December 27, 2023 4:18 PM
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Dear John,
There are so many things to put on our “to do” list for 2024, but one important thing you should act on quickly is enrolling in a healthcare plan offered on Virginia's Insurance Marketplace. For details go to this link: [link removed] [[link removed]]
The discussion below highlights laws that will take effect on January 1, 2024. I am proud to say that I supported all of these bills and played an important role in their passage.
Laws in Effect Starting January 1, 2024:
Foster Care & Adoption: The home studies done by a local board of social services or licensed child-placing agency that are required in foster care and pre-adoption placements can now be transferred to other localities, local social services boards, and licensed child-placing agencies within Virginia if the families being evaluated have moved within state. There are regulations in place that specify the content matter of these studies so uniformity is fairly consistent. Moreover, this new law will streamline the process for placements without compromising the safety of the child.
Health Care Coverage: Health insurers will have to provide coverage for hearing aids and related services for people 18 years or younger when recommended by an otolaryngologist, a specialist who treats ear, nose and throat conditions. The hearing aid coverage includes one hearing aid for each impaired ear every 24 months, up to a cost of $1,500. The new law will apply to policies; contracts; and plans delivered, issued, or renewed on and after January 1.
Expanding Counseling Services: Virginia entered a national Counseling Compact. This compact allows eligible licensed professional counselors from compact states to practice in Virginia and a reciprocal license is granted to Virginia licensed counselors. Twenty states are participating in the Counseling Compact, including the neighboring states of Tennessee, North Carolina, West Virginia and Maryland. I am particularly excited about the entrance of Virginia into the national Compact given the shortage of counseling professionals.
Medical Cannabis: Oversight of the state's medical cannabis program will move from the Virginia Board of Pharmacy to the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority (CCA). All retail and product licensing functions will transfer to the CCA. The Virginia Board of Pharmacy will continue to license healthcare providers who are eligible to grant permission to use medical cannabis.
Next week, I will advise you on my legislative plan for the upcoming session. For now, I hope you are enjoying some quality time with friends and family. It is an honor and pleasure to represent you in Richmond.
Looking forward to connecting with you in the upcoming year.
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Senator Barbara Favola
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