Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! It is a privilege to represent Livonia, Redford Township and Detroit, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our community in Lansing. I encourage you to stay up to date on what’s going on in Lansing and continue to let me know about the issues that matter to you.
Medicaid beneficiaries will continue to have an extra month to submit eligibility renewal paperwork
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has announced that Medicaid beneficiaries with upcoming deadlines for returning renewal forms will have an extra month to submit paperwork to avoid loss of health-care coverage due to not responding. This timeline will continue monthly going forward through May 2024 and does include individuals with a deadline of Monday, July 31.
“MDHHS is taking proactive steps to ensure that Medicaid recipients have as much time as possible to submit their renewal paperwork,” MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel said. “Our goal is to preserve health benefits for all qualifying residents and will continue to use every option available to achieve that outcome.”
This action is the latest effort by MDHHS to preserve Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan eligibility for residents as requirements for annual renewals have resumed following the COVID-19 pandemic. MDHHS will work with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to delay procedural terminations for future months to ensure beneficiaries have adequate time to complete and submit renewal paperwork.
Previously, the department gave Medicaid beneficiaries who had been asked to return forms by June 30 another month, with a new deadline of July 31 before they would be disqualified for not responding. That approach was successful with about 15,000 additional renewals in July. As a result, MDHHS decided to apply that strategy going forward to this first year of eligibility renewals after the pandemic.
That deadline for the June cohort doesn’t extend further based on this announcement. Additional information about new due dates can be found in the Eligibility Timeline.
Additional MDHHS efforts to help Michiganders keep their coverage are possible as a result of the CMS approving new flexibilities and strategies to state officials to lessen the impact of the resumption of Medicaid renewals.
MDHHS advises families to return any renewal paperwork they receive from the department even if they believe they are no longer eligible for Medicaid. Some members of a household can obtain health care coverage even when others are not eligible. For example, a child may be eligible for MiChild, even if their parent is not eligible for other Medicaid programs. Or some Michiganders may have income that is over the income limit for one program and will still be able to obtain health care benefits through another program.
Starting in June this year, Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan beneficiaries were required to renew their coverage, as was the case before the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, to comply with federal legislation.
Renewals for traditional Medicaid and the Healthy Michigan Plan are staggered to take place monthly starting in June 2023 and running through May 2024. MDHHS will send monthly renewal notices three months before a beneficiary’s renewal date.
More than 3 million Michiganders, including 1 million Healthy Michigan enrollees, benefitted from keeping their Medicaid coverage without redeterminations on eligibility during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, Congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that required state Medicaid agencies to continue health care coverage for all medical assistance programs, even if someone’s eligibility changed. Michigan’s Medicaid caseload grew by more than 700,000 people during the public health emergency. This requirement was ended by the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 signed Dec. 29, 2022.
MDHHS will assess a household’s eligibility for all Medicaid programs — not just for the programs in which an individual is currently enrolled, and also for each family member in the household.
MDHHS advises all Medicaid enrollees to check their renewal month at Michigan.gov/MIBridges.
Michiganders who no longer qualify for Medicaid will receive additional information about other affordable health coverage options available, including on HealthCare.gov. Affected Michiganders will be able to shop for and enroll in comprehensive health insurance as they transition away from Medicaid, and many Michiganders can purchase a plan for less than $10 per month.
What Michigan Medicaid beneficiaries need to do to prepare:
- Make sure your address, phone number and email address are up to date at Michigan.gov/MIBridges. You can also call your local MDHHS office. If you do not have an online account for MI Bridges to access your Medicaid case or report changes, visit Michigan.gov/MIBridges to sign up for an account. You can also locate organizations that can help you by searching for community partners.
- Report any changes to your household or income. You can report changes at Michigan.gov/MIBridges or by calling your local MDHHS office.
- If you get a renewal packet, be sure to fill it out, sign the forms and return it by the due date with any proof needed. NOTE: If you do not complete and return the renewal, you may lose Medicaid coverage.
The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is working with MDHHS to help impacted Michiganders get affordable, comprehensive health insurance if they are determined to be no longer eligible for Medicaid. DIFS can answer questions about purchasing a health insurance plan. Call DIFS at (877) 999-6442, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or visit Michigan.gov/StayCovered to learn more.
To ensure beneficiaries are aware of upcoming federal redetermination requirements and help them keep their coverage if eligible, MDHHS has launched a multimedia advertising campaign. This includes radio, audio streaming, outdoor, mobile and social media ads, including minority media outlets and stakeholder communications. The department is also working with other state government departments in its efforts to get the word out to beneficiaries.
More information about the how benefits connected to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency are changing can be found at Michigan.gov/2023BenefitChanges.
Fresenius Medical Care Botsford Park Clinic Tour
I had an enlightening time touring the Fresenius Medical Care Botsford Park Clinic. The conversations that I had with providers offered more knowledge on chronic kidney disease and the daily needs of everyone at the clinic. When I was growing up, my father was a dialysis patient, and it was incredible to see how much has changed in such a relatively short time. As discussion on this topic continues with my colleagues, I look forward to bringing the voices of the folks that I spoke with back to Lansing.
Children’s Behavioral Health Town Hall
This Monday, Aug. 14, I will be joining state Rep. Stephanie A. Young and state Sen. Mary Cavanagh in hosting a Children’s Behavioral Health Town Hall. It will take place at the South Redford School District’s Administrative Building from 5:30-7 p.m. We will have a panel of very knowledgeable folks sharing their experiences with our behavioral health systems and the areas that they would like to see improved. More information about the event can be found on the flyer below. I welcome everyone who is able to attend this important and informative conversation.
I hope you can join me for one of my upcoming coffee hours! I look forward to having an informal conversation with you about the issues families face in our community. I host two coffee hours a month, one in-person and one virtual. The location for in-person coffee hours will rotate throughout the year between Livonia, Redford Township and Detroit. Please be advised that due to the holiday weekend, my in-person coffee hour for September has been canceled. You can join the livestream for my virtual coffee hours on my Facebook page.
Virtual: Monday, Aug. 21, from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Virtual: Monday, Sept. 18, from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Never hesitate to reach out to me or my staff if you have any questions or concerns!
Speaker Pro Tempore
17th House District