About a half million more Michigan residents would be covered by Medicaid if the state implements an expansion of the program offered by the federal government.
Some two million people in Michigan who live below the poverty line are already receiving Medicaid to cover hospital and doctor visits, prescriptions and other services.
Under the Affordable Care Act, Michigan could take advantage of 100 percent federal financing for the first couple of years to expand the program and 90 percent after that.
"If the state implements the expansion, the research indicates the number of uninsured would drop by 46% in Michigan," says Rachel Garfield, a researcher with the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.
Garfield says the expansion would increase Michigan's Medicaid costs by a little over 3 percent over ten years.
Michigan is one of many states that has not yet decided whether to implement the Medicaid expansion program, and no deadline has been established for that decision.
Most participants are children and their parents, whose family income is up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. But Garfield says Medicaid also plays an important role in providing wraparound coverage for Medicare beneficiaries, specifically for long-term care, and financing care for individuals with disabilities.