LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that the Healthy Michigan Plan is now providing health care coverage to 1,000,456 million Michiganders, marking the first time more than one million people have opted for affordable and accessible care under the program. The state’s expanded Medicaid program has grown since it was enacted in 2014, when then Senate Democratic Leader Whitmer helped pass bipartisan legislation that created the Healthy Michigan Plan.
“Today, one million Michiganders have access to affordable health care coverage under the Healthy Michigan Plan, which is a testament to what’s possible when we work side by side to get things done,” said Governor Whitmer. “When I was in the State Legislature, I worked across the aisle with a Republican Governor to establish Healthy Michigan, and today, I have the honor to watch this successful program cover one million and counting of our neighbors, family, and friends. Healthy Michigan has helped so many Michiganders get the care they need to thrive, and I will work with anyone to bolster the program, expand coverage, and lower the cost of health care.”
Healthy Michigan Plan coverage is available to Michiganders ages 19-64 who have an income at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level – or $18,754 annually for a single person and $36,908 for a family of four – and meet other eligibility requirements, such as not qualifying for other Medicaid programs. Expanded Medicaid plans are allowed under the federal Affordable Care Act if states decide to implement them.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) administers the program.
“I am proud of the hard work our team has done to increase access to health care coverage,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “This is not just about a number. For each of the 1 million enrollees, there is a story of how Healthy Michigan Plan has made their lives better.”
According to research from the University of Michigan, the Healthy Michigan Plan more than doubled primary care usage, reduced enrollees’ reliance on the emergency room by 58 percent and cut uncompensated care by nearly 50 percent.
Karen Parrott had no health insurance before enrolling in the Healthy Michigan Plan and receiving coverage through UnitedHealthCare. She said she was depressed, had numbness in her limbs and was imbalanced, but didn’t see a doctor. Because of those symptoms, she stopped driving because she feared it would be unsafe. She recently saw a doctor to begin addressing her health issues and UnitedHealthCare put a shower chair in her shower so she could use it.
“Before I had coverage from the Healthy Michigan Plan, I was sick and depressed and didn’t know what to do,” said Karen Parrott, 53, of Macomb County. “I hadn’t visited a doctor for eight years. Now I have a doctor and am so glad I will be able to get treatment. I’ve been sitting here depressed for months and months. And now I’m going to do something about it. Healthy Michigan Plan has been a lifesaver for me. Everyone should have access to health care coverage and see a doctor regularly. My worker Lori at UnitedHealthCare is awesome. She was a kick in the butt for me.”
MDHHS has streamlined the Healthy Michigan Plan application process to ensure people eligible to receive benefits can more easily access them without unnecessary burdensome procedural requirements.