450,000 Michigan residents have now lost Medicaid coverage
- Michigan continues to trim back its Medicaid rolls
- The state has so far reviewed nearly 1.5 million cases, ending Medicaid for nearly 450,000 people
- Most of those dropped from Medicaid coverage were for failing to submit paperwork
Michigan has reached the halfway point of its year-long review of Medicaid eligibility, and the number of people dropped from its rolls has now reached nearly 450,000.
To date, nearly 1.5 million of the roughly 3.2 million Michigan residents who were on the Medicaid rolls have had their eligibility reviewed by the state, with roughly 1-in-3 losing coverage, according to new state data released Thursday.
Medicaid is the state and federal program that provides medical insurance to low-income people. Medicaid’s ranks swelled during the COVID-19 pandemic, both in state and across the country, as federal emergency rules put a temporary halt to eligibility reviews.
But with the end of the federal health emergency earlier this year, states resumed reviews this summer. Thursday’s update marked the sixth month of a 12-month review.
Most of the nearly 450,000 Michigan residents removed so far lost coverage for procedural reasons, meaning they had not submitted the proper documentation showing they’re still eligible for Medicaid.
The Whitmer administration has made it a priority to keep as many people on Medicaid as possible, asking the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for multiple waivers to extend coverage for beneficiaries, including asking for the ability to “passively” enroll people if they are on life-saving medications, for example, or if their income can be verified through other sources.
One top Michigan health official said there’s concern that some children are being booted unnecessarily.
In many cases, “even if an adult loses coverage, we can still keep the kids on Medicaid,” said Nicole Hudson, a special projects senior advisor in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, who oversees the state’s “redetermination” process.
In Michigan, Medicaid covers 3 in 8 children, according to a November report by MDHHS.
Most adults qualify for the state’s expanded Medicaid program, known as Healthy Michigan, if their household income is 133 percent of the federal poverty level or lower. But the income caps are more lenient for children and pregnant people.
- Children under 19 are eligible for Medicaid if their family income is up to 212 percent of the federal poverty level, or $63,600 for a family of four.
- Pregnant people are covered up to 195 percent of the federal poverty level, which would be $28,431 for a single pregnant person, or $38,454 for a household of two.
Those who lose Medicaid coverage may be eligible for low-cost policies — some as low as $10 a month — through the www.HealthCare.gov, the federal marketplace. Beneficiaries can find out more about how to respond to the reviews on the Medicaid Benefit Changes website.
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