Michigan officials hope to know by Christmas whether the Obama administration has accepted the state’s plan for extending Medicaid coverage to thousands of working poor people.
The state formally submitted its proposal to the federal government today.
The state wants waivers from the usual Medicaid rules so it can charge co-pays, set up health care savings accounts, and use financial incentives to encourage patients to adopt healthy behaviors.
“If you’re obese, you’re at risk for diabetes, you’re at risk for heart problems,” says James Haveman, the director of the Michigan Department of Community Health, “Well, if you get your weight down, your risk factors become less, so that’s going to be the focus.”
Michigan wants to start signing up patients on January first, with coverage starting in mid- to late-March or early April. The state could already be enrolling patients, but an impasse in the Legislature delayed enactment of the bill. Haveman says next year the state will be able to offer coverage to 320 thousand people who are currently without insurance.
Governor Rick Snyder was on Fox News this morning to talk about Michigan's Medicaid expansion.
He said the generic Medicaid expansion plan didn’t go far enough, to include preventative care and wellness.
“We made a better product,” Snyder told Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy, “We set aside dollars to pay our share when it kicks in for state contributions for a number of years so we’re in good shape in Michigan.”
Snyder also said he had his doubts that the federal government’s health care website would work.
He said that’s why he wanted to set up a state exchange.
Snyder didn’t mention that it was the Republican led state legislature that thwarted his effort to set up a state run health exchange.