State will use $1M from CARES Act to enroll Michigan residents in health coverage

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    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Monday the state will use more than $1 million of federal CARES Act funding to reach Michiganders who have lost health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic and to support organizations who offer enrollment in low- or no-cost coverage.

    The money will be invested in community-based organizations that help residents enroll in coverage. Dollars will also be put toward online health insurance education programs and an advertising campaign targeting areas heavily impacted by COVID-19 job losses. 

    “Access to medical care is more important than ever, yet job and income losses during the COVID-19 pandemic have caused many Michiganders to lose their health insurance,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Signing up for insurance can be a confusing process, but this funding will ensure people have access to local help and the resources they need to understand their options and get themselves and their families covered.”  

    A news release from the governor’s office notes that enrollment for the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Marketplace is open from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15. Coverage begins Jan. 1. Different enrollment periods might be available for people who experienced a “qualifying life event” in 2020, such as unemployment or income reduction.  

    The release notes coverage is also available for some residents through Medicaid and the Healthy Michigan Plan, which can be accessed at Michigan.gov/MIBridges. Senior citizens who have lost out on job-provided health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic might also be eligible for a Medicare special enrollment period.

    C.J. Moore
    C.J. Moore covers the environment and the Capitol. She previously worked at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland as a public affairs staff science writer. She also previously covered crop sustainability and coal pollution issues for Great Lakes Echo. In addition, she served as editor in chief at The State News and covered its academics and research beat. She is a journalism graduate student at Michigan State University.