Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan was at a community health center in Richmond Monday afternoon to promote the state’s new healthcare exchange. It’s designed to increase coverage and reduce costs as a replacement for the federal Obamacare-era marketplace.

A 2021 study by Virginia’s Joint Commission on Health Care showed decreased enrollment by younger, healthier Virginians in the state’s Affordable Care Act marketplace was driving higher premiums. Then, during the pandemic, Congress authorized expanded access to federally subsidized Medicaid. But now, with the pandemic over and those additional funds cut off, over 200,000 Virginians are being kicked off Medicaid. And other steps taken by Congress have made the new state-run marketplace options better for younger folks.

This story was reported and written by Radio IQ

Richmond-area Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan is hoping those who need coverage will go to and sign up before enrollment windows close in the coming weeks.

“The time is now to enroll, you have subsidies available to enroll, and we want to make sure you don’t miss these critical deadlines,” McClellan said.

McClellan was in the Virginia legislature when the state joined the Obamacare system, but even then, she knew the state needed to create its own system to better serve citizens of the Commonwealth.

“It’s a lot easier to call an agency in Richmond or, if necessary, an elected official at the state level, than it is to go through a federal agency or through federal representatives,” she said.

But those high premiums were a barrier.

The good news is, according to Keven Patchett, the director of Virginia’s Health Benefit Exchange, last year saw increases in enrollment and they’re continuing. That means concerns about high premiums and those needing healthcare could both be addressed by going to and signing up.