Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2019
Michigan Notifies CMS of Gov. Whitmer’s Intent to Seek Legislative Improvements to Healthy Michigan Plan Work Requirements
LANSING, Mich. – Today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer notified the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that she plans to work with state legislators on changes to the Healthy Michigan Plan to protect coverage and ensure Michiganders can get and keep good jobs.
Whitmer announced her intentions in a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma accepting the special terms and conditions of the amended Healthy Michigan Plan waiver.
Continued approval of the Healthy Michigan Plan is contingent upon the state’s acknowledgment and acceptance of the special terms and conditions of the amended waiver. This acceptance will allow the Healthy Michigan Plan to continue providing coverage to individuals currently enrolled while the governor and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) work with the legislature.
“As governor, I am committed to doing everything in my power to defend Healthy Michigan and protect coverage for the 680,000 Michiganders who rely on it for quality care,” said Whitmer. “That’s why I plan to take steps in the coming weeks to work with our partners in the legislature to change the Healthy Michigan Plan so that it preserves coverage, promotes work, reduces red tape and minimizes administrative costs.”
The updated waiver was requested to comply with Public Act 208 of 2018, which required changes to Healthy Michigan Plan program requirements including community engagement and increased cost sharing. CMS approved Michigan’s request for an amended waiver in December 2018.
An analysis of how similar work requirements were implemented in Arkansas shows 18,000 people in that state lost their insurance within the first seven months of the requirements. This week an independent study by Manatt Health found that Michigan’s waiver, once implemented, would take away health insurance from 61,000 to 183,000 Michiganders.
The Healthy Michigan Plan launched April 1, 2014, to extend health care benefits to eligible residents up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. A second waiver with a focus on encouraging beneficiaries to adopt healthy behaviors was approved by the federal government in 2015.
“According to research from the University of Michigan, the Healthy Michigan Plan has more than doubled primary care usage, reduced enrollees’ reliance on emergency rooms by 58 percent, cut uncompensated care by nearly 50 percent, added 30,000 jobs annually, and added $2.3 billion to Michigan’s economy,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “We should work together to build on that success.”
For more information about the Healthy Michigan Plan, visit the Healthy Michigan Plan website.
To view the full letter, click on the link below: