I often hear that mandating Health Insurance is no different than mandating Auto Insurance. This is absolutely incorrect, and there is a BIG difference.
Virginia only requires that you purchase Liability Coverage which protects someone else that you harm, when an accident is your fault. The state does not care if you cover yourself or your property or not.
Comprehensive and Collision coverage is only mandated by your Lien Holder (your bank). Not by the State. If you pay cash for a car you will not be required to cover your own vehicle, even if it is a 2010 BMW.
So, the state only mandates that you protect others from harm you may cause.
Mandatory Health Insurance is forcing you to cover yourself.
Virginia leaves that decision totally to you.