Medicaid

A northern Michigan state lawmaker is defending legislation that would require able-bodied people to work an average of 29 hours per week to qualify for Medicaid. 

Opponents of the bill say it would unfairly affect African-Americans living in cities. 

 


The state Legislature began discussions Wednesday on the newest plan to make people work for Medicaid.

 

The bill would require able-bodied adults to perform an average of 30-hours of work, job training, or education every week. Pregnant adults, people with medical disabilities, and others would not be included.

 

This is a big week for the future of mental health care in Michigan.

All the complexities aside, which have been covered at length on Stateside over the last year, essentially it comes down to one question: Should the mental health services remain in the control of public entities like Community Mental Health centers, or should private insurance companies take the lead?

Expanding Medicaid was a key part of the Affordable Care Act. In our state, it's known as Healthy Michigan, and it has meant health care coverage for more than 600,000 people.

But if you wind up in the criminal justice system, even if its just pre-trial detention, Medicaid benefits turn off immediately.

Researchers at the University of Michigan say excluding inmates from Medicaid is driving up costs and hurting the health of inmates.

Gov. Rick Snyder’s new budget contains over $100 million for Healthy Michigan.

That’s a reminder that it’s time for the state of Michigan to pony up some of the Medicaid expansion program’s operation cost. That Healthy Michigan program means health insurance for some 600,000 lower-income Michiganders.

Parenting a mentally ill child can be one of life's greatest challenges.

When you keep asking questions, keep searching for mental health care that can help your child, you may not get the right answers.

Michigan Radio's Sarah Alvarez is the Public Insight journalist for the State of Opportunity project.

Todd Courser

  It looks likely there will be more Tea Party Republicans in the Legislature next year. And one of the likely new Tea Partiers in the state House says they may want one of their own to be the new Republican leader. Todd Courser (R-Lapeer) won the GOP primary in a very Republican-leaning seat, which means he’s probably likely headed to Lansing next year. And he says Tea Partiers in the Legislature will be looking for something different in the new House leadership team.

Michigan cannot ban all felons from being caregivers in the state’s Medicaid in-home care program. That’s according to state officials who outlined an upcoming background check system on Monday.

People convicted of patient abuse or neglect, health care fraud, or drug-related crimes will be barred from working with in-home Medicaid patients. But state officials say federal law prevents them from excluding people based on crimes that are not related to in-home care.

April 1 was an important day for many in Michigan. It was the day nearly half a million people in our state became newly eligible for the expanded Medicaid program.

Since then, more than 300,000 people have enrolled. Many have not seen a physician for a long time. Or, they have relied on emergency rooms for their medical care.

As revealed in a study published in the medical journal JAMA Surgery, there's good news and challenging news in all of this.

Certainly it's good that patients will be able to turn to a physician for medical care.

But the challenge is the overall poor health of many of these patients, especially surgical patients, and that has many implications – to the patients, to the hospitals and to the surgeons treating them.

Chief Medical Officer of the University of Michigan Health System, Dr. Darrell Campbell, Junior, talked about the study on Stateside.

Campbell analyzed data on 14,000 patients who had operations in 52 hospitals in Michigan from July 2012 to June 2013. The study looked at the Medicaid population and compared them to people with private insurance but were around the same age. The study analyzed the condition those patients were in prior to their surgical procedure.

“What we found was that they weren’t in very good shape,” Campbell said. “And that has consequences for the results after they have surgery, not only in terms of how well they do from physical point of view but also the cost and resources that are used afterwards.”

Two state departments are under fire for mismanaging a program that provides in-home care for Medicaid patients.

A new audit shows the program has misspent at least $160 million since 2010.

The Michigan auditor general’s report says the state also failed to make sure money was actually used to deliver services and that caregivers were qualified.

Budget bills before the Michigan Senate this week include money to pay for 16,000 breast pumps to help poor mothers breastfeed newborn babies. The $2 million dollar provision was approved in a conference committee today.

    

“It’s just so important for the babies,” says bill sponsor Senator Goeff Hanson (R-Hart). “The best possible food that they can have.”

Hansen says that should help working mothers who are on Medicaid.

A clinic for the uninsured is expanding its office in Traverse City, and adding a new doctor.

The Traverse Health Clinic also has begun accepting Medicaid. It’s planning for a surge of new patients who could struggle to find a doctor in private practice.

The clinic surveyed area physicians in 2012, says Development Director Sherri Fenton
“The majority of them had indicated to us that they have a cap on the number of Medicaid patients that they take,” she says. “And that that cap would likely not be changing.”

Michigan Launches Expanded Medicaid Program

Apr 1, 2014
Emily Orpin/Flickr

Michigan’s Medicaid expansion is officially up and running. That means hundreds of thousands of low-income Michiganders are now eligible for government-sponsored health care.

People making 133 percent of the federal poverty level or less are now eligible for the program, which is part of the federal Affordable Care Act. That’s about $15,000 dollars or less a year for an individual and about $32,000 or less for a family of four.

State lawmakers will probably double the amount of money they had planned to spend on fixing roads torn apart by nasty weather this winter.

A legislative conference committee hopes to approve a mid-year budget bill Tuesday that will probably include about $200 million to fix potholes and help local governments pay for things like salt and snow plowing.

State lawmakers are about to dive into the process of crafting a budget for next fiscal year. But they have to fix some problems with the current year’s budget first.

One of the biggest concerns is a hole in the state’s Medicaid budget of more than $100 million. Everyone agrees that shortfall needs to be addressed. But the state House and Senate have not been able to agree on how to fix it or where that money should come from.

Republican Party leaders say opposition to the Affordable Care Act is their No. 1 campaign issue for the midterm election.

Michigan’s plan to expand Medicaid health coverage to more than 300 thousand low-income residents has been approved by the federal government.   

Disagreements among conservatives will be on display in a northern Michigan primary during the coming year. Two experienced Republican lawmakers are running for the 37th state senate seat. The recent Medicaid vote is already emerging as a central issue in a race that will highlight some of the differences between Governor Snyder and the right wing of his party.