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MIHealthyLife will strengthen health care coverage for Michiganders

State hears from public on strengthening Medicaid before selecting health plans

LANSING, Mich. – After hearing from nearly 10,000 residents, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has identified focus areas for its MIHealthyLife initiative to improve the health of residents covered by Medicaid.

The focus areas – known as strategic pillars – will serve as the foundation for rebidding contracts for the Medicaid health plans that provide services to 2.2 million Michiganders receiving coverage through Medicaid and Michigan’s Healthy Michigan Plan.

The five pillars are:

  • Serve the Whole Person, Coordinating Health and Health-Related Needs.
  • Give All Kids a Healthy Start.
  • Promote Health Equity and Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities.
  • Drive Innovation and Operational Excellence.
  • Engage Members, Families and Communities.

“I appreciate the valuable feedback from Michigan residents covered by Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan and from other stakeholders who partner with MDHHS to strengthen Medicaid,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “Together we can help our residents enjoy a healthier future through a more equitable, coordinated and person-centered system of care.”

In July 2022, MDHHS announced MIHealthyLife, an initiative to improve the health of Michiganders as the department prepares to rebid its Medicaid health plan contracts. MDHHS sought public input through a comprehensive survey to inform MIHealthyLife. Survey questions sought feedback on broad priorities and principles that will guide the state’s selection of Medicaid health plans.

MDHHS identified the five pillars based on feedback received from the public, as well as input from internal MDHHS officials, targeted external stakeholder interviews, a review of state health and human services priorities, and a survey of national best practices,

Medicaid and the Healthy Michigan Plan provide health care coverage to state residents that include low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults and people with disabilities. Medicaid health plans are key to achieving the MDHHS mission of improving the health, safety and prosperity of residents.

Of the responses, 85%, or more than 8,300, came from people enrolled in Medicaid or a family member. The remaining 15% came from other health care stakeholders, including health plans, primary care providers, behavioral health providers and hospitals or health systems.

Nearly 5,000 stakeholders responded to open-ended questions, resulting in 15,739 comments that included calls for integrated physical, behavioral and oral health along with social determinants of health supports and for ensuring that all children and families have access to quality health care regardless of their financial status.

MDHHS established six design teams consisting of subject matter experts from across the department to create actionable policies to support these strategic pillars. The teams continue to use feedback from the survey to inform the policy and program changes and the overall process for selecting Medicaid health plans through a rebidding process.

MDHHS will accept proposals for Comprehensive Health Care Program Medicaid health plans in fall 2023.

For more information, or to stay updated on MIHealthyLife, visit www.michigan.gov/MDHHS/MIHealthyLife. All questions related to the rebid process can be sent to mdhhs-mihealthylife@michigan.gov.

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