The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) last week began sending out informational letters to Medicaid enrollees about work requirements that start in January. The department said the letter to more than 270,000 beneficiaries is meant to help people “preserve their health insurance coverage.”
GOP former Gov. Rick Snyder signed new work requirements last year. The letter notifies beneficiaries that beginning Jan. 1, they will be required to report to MDHHS each month 80 hours of work or other eligible activities, such as job training. Enrollees were informed that they could lose benefits by not reporting.
A form is included for beneficiaries to fill out if they meet one of the exemptions from the work requirements, such as being medically frail or a full-time student. More information on changes is available online.
“These letters are an important step in MDHHS’s multifaceted plan to give Healthy Michigan Plan beneficiaries clear information about what they need to do to continue their coverage,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “We are doing everything in our power so that individuals can comply with this complex and demanding statute. Clear communication is key.”
In 2014, Michigan expanded Medicaid to those with incomes at or below 133% of the federal poverty level, as allowed under the federal Affordable Care Act signed by then-President Barack Obama. Named the Healthy Michigan program, it has more than 650,000 enrollees.
There is currently bipartisan legislation tweaking the work requirements, but experts say it’s unlikely to stop many from losing coverage.