Friday, July 12, 2024

Several New Laws Went into Effect on Jan. 1 in Virginia

(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)

HISTORIC TRIANGLE — Starting Jan 1, several new bills were enacted into Virginia law per the 2023 General Assembly.

Adoption and foster care; home study reciprocity. (HB1744)

“Provides that home studies conducted by a local board of social services or licensed child-placing agency for the purpose of placing a child in a foster home or with an adoptive family is transferable between all localities, local boards, and licensed child-placing agencies within the Commonwealth at the request of the prospective foster parent or the prospective adoptive parent, subject to any time limitations or other requirements imposed by law or regulation”.

The bill requires all home studies to be conducted per the Mutual Family Assessment.

The law aims to streamline the process for placements without compromising the safety of the child.

Extended tax-exemptions for military retirement pay through the removal of age restrictions.

After enacting a state tax exemption for military retirement pay in 2022, Gov. Youngkin expanded the benefit to apply to all military retirees regardless of age.

Health care provider panels; continuity of care. (HB 2354)

This new law will make “changes to provisions related to the continuity of care for an enrollee after a provider is terminated from a health insurance carrier’s provider panel”.

If your healthcare provider (or any provider seen in the past six months) is removed from your insurance carrier’s “provider panel” the carrier is required to notify you prior.

You may continue to receive care from that provider for at least 90 days after the provider is terminated from the network, with provisions.

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

“Requires health insurers, health maintenance organizations, and corporations providing health care coverage subscription contracts to provide coverage for hearing aids and related services for children 18 years of age or younger when an otolaryngologist recommends such hearing aids and related services”.

Licensure of professional counselors; Counseling Compact. (HB1433)

Authorizes Virginia to become a signatory to the Counseling Compact. The Compact permits eligible licensed professional counselors to practice in reciprocal member states provided that they are licensed in at least one member state.

Medical cannabis program; transition from Board of Pharmacy to Virginia Cannabis Control Authority. (HB 1598)

This new bill will transfer “oversight and administration of the Commonwealth’s medical cannabis program from the Board of Pharmacy to the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority (CCA)”.

The CCA is a regulatory agency that was created with the Cannabis Control Act to “control the possession, sale, transportation, distribution, and delivery” of retail marijuana.

However, the bill to allow recreational sales of marijuana has not been passed into Virginia legislative.

View all the bills that were passed in the 2023 Virginia General Assembly.

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