Stateside
3:51 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Affordable Care Act enrollment is closed; attention now turns to Michigan Medicaid expansion

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The Affordable Care Act shop door now has a "closed" sign on it, for the most part.

The open enrollment deadline passed at midnight.

Attention in Michigan now swings over to Healthy Michigan.

That's the official name for Michigan's expanded Medicaid program. It allows the state to bring more low-income residents into the Medicaid fold using funding available through the Affordable Care Act.

And Michigan's Medicaid expansion is something other states are watching because of a couple of important new twists to the program.

MLive Capitol reporter Jonathan Oosting joins us now.

“First of all, we raised the cap on people who can qualify to 133% of the federal poverty level,” said Oosting. This is something a lot of other states are doing. “What makes Michigan’s plan unique is that there are also co-pays and premiums for new enrollees, which can actually be reduced through healthy living behaviors such as quitting smoking.”

From a public health point of view, offering incentives to increase healthy behavior is an excellent idea. This was championed by both the Michigan Department of Community Health and Gov. Snyder.

“This essentially raises the bar for anyone who earns under 133% of the federal poverty level,” Oosting said. “It’s expected to bring hundreds of thousands of new residents into the Medicaid program.”

So do not assume that just because you were not eligible for Medicaid in the past, you will not be eligible now. The new plan has more flexibility on who will be covered. Anyone who feels they may be eligible is encouraged to sign up as soon as possible. 

Listen to the full interview above.