On January 31st, 2020—in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic—the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a Public Health Emergency (PHE) for the entire United States.
This PHE ensured continuous health insurance coverage and provided states with additional federal Medicaid matches to keep people insured. In Michigan, Medicaid ranks grew by more than 700,000 since the pandemic hit.
A more recent act, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, requires states to restart Medicaid renewals. Some will lose coverage simply because they haven’t updated their addresses; others may lose coverage because they don’t know how to complete the forms; others may no longer be eligible for traditional Medicaid, but could purchase federally subsidized Healthy Michigan Plan policies.
The act also ends the extra food assistance funding from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on February 28th. Other services extended by the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency–including telehealth flexibilities–will not be immediately affected.
Medicaid. What to expect.
On March 31, continuous enrollment will end, and Medicaid clients will need to once again document their eligibility to renew their coverage. This process will start in June for individuals who are set to lose their coverage that month. The process will end May 2024. Each month, a subset of Medicaid enrollees will be given three months to document their eligibility, as Michigan resumes Medicaid eligibility redeterminations to comply with federal legislation. Beneficiaries can check their renewal month at www.michigan.gov/MIBridges.
Michiganders who no longer qualify for Medicaid will receive additional information about other subsidized health care coverage options, including on HealthCare.gov. Many Michiganders will be able to purchase a one-year plan for less than $10 per month.
SNAP. What to expect.
During the PHE, families received additional food assistance of at least $95 to each household’s monthly benefits.
But a recent federal law brings an end to the SNAP Emergency Allotments. For those on SNAP, the last Emergency Allotment payment will be issued between February 18th and 27th. Michiganders will receive their pre-COVID benefit amount beginning in March. View the Washtenaw Health Plans’s SNAP benefits FAQ sheet for more helpful information.
How to get your clients ready.
- Make sure clients update their address, phone number and email address at www.michigan.gov/MIBridges. Have clients call their local MDHHS office if they don’t have an online MI Bridges account.
- Help clients report changes to household size and income. Clients can report changes at www.michigan.gov/MIBridges or by calling their local MDHHS office.
Health insurance coverage.
The Washtenaw Health Plan (WHP) helps people navigate their health insurance options free-of-charge.
Contact the WHP at 734-544-3030 or firstname.lastname@example.org:
- If your client you receives a renewal letter from Michigan and doesn’t know how to complete it
- If your client becomes ineligible for Medicaid coverage or needs health insurance
- If you or your client have questions or just want to talk about options
The WHP offers in-person interpretation services in Spanish, Arabic, and French, and telephone interpretation for other languages.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Washtenaw County office hosts SNAP for other individuals in need. Contact the MDHHS Washtenaw County office at 734-481-2000 if you have questions or concerns about qualifying or maintaining for SNAP.
The Washtenaw County Health Department hosts the WIC nutrition support program for children up to 5 years old and their families. If you have questions about eligibility, contact the department here: 734-544-6800 (Washtenaw County WIC Office) or email@example.com
Additionally, the MI Bridges website includes information about enrolling in food assistance programs and United Way of Washtenaw County’s 2-1-1 call line helps residents find food and other supports. Lastly, you can find your local food bank here.
Help spread the word.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has developed resources to get the word out about coverage changes and the renewal process, including a:
- Stakeholder toolkit to assist individuals with Medicaid coverage understand the upcoming changes,
- Medicaid renewal one-pager to help residents get ready to renew coverage, and
- Public Health Emergency unwinding fact sheets and social media posts in English, Spanish, and Arabic.
Below are social media posts to share through your channels.
|Post 1: Steps to stay insured|
Suggested post: Michigan is restarting Medicaid eligibility requirements. Don’t risk losing your Medicaid, Healthy Michigan, or MIChild coverage. Follow these 3 steps to stay insured: https://bit.ly/MDHHS-PHE-Flye
|Post 2: Update your address|
Suggested post: Michigan is restarting Medicaid eligibility requirements and mailing renewal letters. Make sure your address is up to date. Visit www.michigan.gov/mibridges or contact the Washtenaw Health Plan at 734-544-3030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Post 3: Check the mail|
Suggested post: Medicaid renewal letters are coming. Check your mail and respond quickly. Questions? Contact the Washtenaw Health Plan at 734-544-3030 or email email@example.com
|Post 4: Contact a health navigator|
Suggested post: The Washtenaw Health Plan has health navigators that help people apply for health insurance and stay covered! Have questions? Call 734-544-3030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Social media posts to share through your channels.