Typically pregnancy related Medicaid in Michigan only last for two months after birth, but Senator Winnie Brinks wants to ensure after those two months no mothers in Michigan is forced to go without medical treatment because they cannot afford it.

“The whole idea is to, of course, reduce maternal mortality but there are also other benefits as well including health of children and other people in the home and it also helps decrease the disparities for maternal death and complication between white women and  women of color.” 

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Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration is asking for a quick court ruling on the legality of Michigan's Medicaid work requirements. The state hopes to avoid sending notices to more than 80,000 people who didn't comply in the first month of the rules. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services filed a motion Tuesday with U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington - 11 days after a federal appeals court affirmed Boasberg's decision to invalidate Arkansas' work requirements.

Doctor taking a patient's blood pressure photo
Pixabay | CC BY 3.0

When Katina Petropolous found out she could be at risk for losing her health insurance she joined a group of local Michigan residents in filing a lawsuit against the Trump Administration to prevent Medicaid work requirements from taking effect.

“If I had to go to the doctors Id probably have to pay out of my own pocket and that’s a concern.” 

Photo of Doctors
Wikimedia Commons

  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Monday she wants to pause the implementation of work requirements for adults in Michigan’s Medicaid expansion program until a lawsuit is resolved, but doing so would require an agreement from Republican lawmakers.

The rules are scheduled to begin in January. Though nine states have had their waivers approved by the Trump administration, Michigan would be the only state with requirements in effect.

Lawsuit challenges Medicaid work requirements in Michigan

Nov 25, 2019
Words "Medicaid" on paper surrounded by stethoscope photo
Wikimedia Commons

  Four enrollees in Michigan’s Medicaid expansion program filed a lawsuit Friday challenging work requirements that are set to take effect in January, arguing that the Trump administration lacked the authority to approve the rules that undermine the Affordable Care Act.

The lawsuit, brought in federal court in Washington, D.C., asks the judge to declare the federal approval of the requirements illegal and to block them from being implemented.

Medicaid Changes

Nov 1, 2019
Priority Health
Priority Health

  Effective January 1, more than 270,000 Medicaid recipients in Michigan will be required to meet new work requirements to maintain their health coverage. We chat about the particulars about the local angle. Priority Health's Shannon Wilson will share details.

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Michigan's Legislature has approved a bill that would exempt some Medicaid recipients from having to meet monthly reporting rules if the state can verify their compliance with work requirements through other data.

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign the measure that won final passage from the Republican-led Senate Wednesday.

Starting in January, abled-bodied adults ages 19 through 61 who are enrolled in Michigan's Medicaid expansion plan and want to maintain their benefit must, on a monthly basis, show workforce engagement averaging 80 hours a month.

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The sponsor of proposed Medicaid work requirements is dropping a provision that would have exempted recipients who live in Michigan counties with higher jobless rates, saying Gov. Rick Snyder's administration worries it would be an "administrative nightmare."

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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.

Bill sponsor, Senator Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) and the CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Richard Studley, both agreed that the state’s Medicaid expansion, Healthy Michigan, isn’t working.

State auditors say Michigan could do a better job of identifying veterans who might be eligible for federal benefits. 

The audit released Friday says the state could save money if veterans on Medicaid switched to health programs run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Since 2015, Michigan's Veterans Affairs Agency is supposed to be working with another state department to identify Medicaid recipients, but the agency hasn't received the data.

Officials blamed it on staff turnover and other issues. The agency hopes to get the information early this year.