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Healthy Michigan plan approved

Monday, December 30, 2013

LANSING – Michigan’s unique Healthy Michigan Plan today received approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The plan, which Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law on Sept. 16, will extend health care benefits to 322,000 low-income Michigan residents in spring 2014 and ultimately cover nearly half a million Michiganders.

“Ensuring access to health care for hard-working Michiganders will strengthen the health of our state’s residents and our economy,” Snyder said. “With the approval of the Healthy Michigan Plan, we can move forward to bring coverage to residents, creating a healthier, more productive workforce while saving money for the state’s taxpayers and job providers. We thank the federal government for its speedy review and approval of Michigan’s innovative plan and approach.”

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) submitted a Section 1115 waiver amendment to CMS on Nov. 8 and has been in regular contact since then. With this approval, MDCH can move forward with implementing the program that will make quality health care affordable and accessible for all Michigan residents up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level who are otherwise not eligible for Medicaid at the time of enrollment. The Healthy Michigan Plan provides a framework for comprehensive medical benefits and health care reform.

The central features of the Healthy Michigan Plan are to extend health care coverage to low-income Michigan citizens who are uninsured or underinsured, and implement systemic innovations to improve quality and stabilize health care costs. Key pieces include: the advancement of health information technology; structural incentives for healthy behaviors and personal responsibility; and promoting the overall health and well-being of Michigan citizens.

By improving access to affordable health coverage, the plan will also reduce uncompensated care that shifts costs onto businesses and taxpayers.

“This approval marks an important step in the process of providing coverage to hard-working Michigan residents,” said MDCH Director James K. Haveman. “Now that the waiver has been approved, our staff will immediately begin to establish the enrollment process for the newly eligible to ensure the plan is ready for implementation around April 2014.”

MDCH will be working closely with the Michigan Department of Human Services, Michigan Enrolls, hospitals, health plans, Federally Qualified Health Centers, local health departments, community mental health board associations and other community and human services organizations to educate and assist newly eligible residents and enroll them in the program.

Applicants for the Healthy Michigan Plan must be between the ages of 19-64, not currently eligible for Medicaid, not eligible for or enrolled in Medicare, and earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (approximately $15,000 for single person and $34,000 for a family of four).

Health coverage under the Healthy Michigan Plan includes both federally and state mandated Essential Health Benefits such as ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment, prescription drugs, rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, laboratory services, preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management, pediatric services including oral and vision care, and other medically necessary services as needed.

For more information about the progress of the Healthy Michigan Plan or developments regarding the enrollment process, visit


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