Michigan receives CMS approval for $28 million program to expand lead abatement

      Monday, Nov. 14, 2016

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) today received approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand lead abatement activities in the state. The amendment of Michigan’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) State Plan allows Michigan to use federal funds for a nearly $24 million Health Services Initiative that will help prevent lead exposure and its short and long-term health effects.

“This is great news and another example of how all levels of government working together can help improve the lives of all Michiganders through resources dedicated to protecting public health,” said Gov. Rick Snyder.

The approved amendment provides CHIP funding for lead abatement services to eligible properties. Eligible properties will be candidates for abatement services including permanent removal, enclosure, or encapsulation of lead based paint and lead dust hazards; removal and replacement of surfaces or fixtures; and the removal or covering of soil lead hazards. In Flint, the program would also include the replacement of the exterior lead service lines that supply drinking water to the home. Residences outside of Flint would also be eligible for faucet, fixture and lead service line replacement on a case-by-case basis, as indicated by water testing results.

“With the approval of this amendment, we will soon be able to provide additional resources to eligible families that will help make their homes safer and lives healthier by reducing lead hazards that may otherwise go unaddressed,” said Nick Lyon, director of the MDHHS. “I thank our federal partners for their quick review, decision, and support of this important preventive health program.”  

Residents may be eligible for expanded abatement services if there is a Medicaid or CHIP eligible child younger than 19 or pregnant woman living in the home. Eligible properties in Flint will receive priority status, and MDHHS is currently working to identify other high-risk communities to engage for this preventive health program and abatement work. Residents statewide may participate if they are otherwise eligible, and have a blood lead level greater than or equal to five micrograms per deciliter.

CHIP funding is through Title XXI funding and not a Medicaid funding source. The total amount that is available for the program in FY17 is $23.8 million, of which, the federal match is 98.61 percent for FY17. Michigan would contribute about $330,000 in General Fund. Going forward, MDHHS will begin to identify additional high risk communities as well as initiate steps to make this program operational. More details about how to apply for expanded lead abatement services will be available in the coming months.

For more information about Flint-related water issues, visit www.michigan.gov/flintwater.

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