Direct Certification - Medicaid Demonstration Project

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) received approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to participate in the Medicaid Demonstration Project for Direct Certification for school year 2017-18. This is an exciting opportunity for students, families, and schools in Michigan. For the first time, children eligible for free or reduced-price meals under Medicaid will be directly certified.

  • The first Direct Certification refresh for school year 2017-18 is scheduled for July 28, 2017. In addition to students who qualify via SNAP (S), TANF (T), and Foster Child Program (F), Medicaid-eligible students will appear on the existing Direct Certification report with a new letter in the eligibility column: Medicaid Free (M) and Medicaid Reduced-Price (R).

  • As with SNAP and TANF, eligibility benefits for free and reduced-price meals can be extended to other students who live in a household with a student who is directly certified by Medicaid.

  • Please note: Medicaid case numbers on applications or letters from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) cannot be used to determine eligibility for free or reduced-price meals. Only Direct Certification can be used to determine eligibility for Medicaid.

  • Households with students who are directly certified as Medicaid Reduced-Price will be notified by letter that they may qualify for free meals based on household size and income. The Free and Reduced-Price School Meals Application and the Income Eligibility Guidelines will be included with the letter.

  • Eligibility for free meals determined by household application supersedes eligibility for reduced-price eligibility on the Direct Certification report. Always use the eligibility that will be of the greatest benefit to the student.

  • MDE and CEPI have worked with student and food service systems vendors to make this process seamless for districts.

For more information about the Medicaid Demonstration project, please contact or 517-373-3347. For questions regarding the Direct Certification report, please contact CEPI Customer Support at or 517-335-0505 x3.