Michigan’s Medicaid expansion helps rural counties, men – Detroit Free Press

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The expansion of Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has increased Michigan’s Medicaid rolls by 29% from 1.9 million residents in April 2014 to 2.5 million residents in May 2017.  

Statewide, 1 out of 4 Michigan residents is enrolled in Medicaid.

Medicaid has expanded as part of the ACA in 32 states and the District of Columbia. The expansion simplified eligibility requirements and expanded income eligibility to 133% of the poverty level, $16,000 for a single person or about $33,000 for a family of four.

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About half of the 683,000 adults enrolled in Healthy Michigan are men, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“Before the ACA, single adults, many males without children, were left out — poor but ineligible for Medicaid,” said Marianne Udow-Phillips, executive director of the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation (CHRT), a nonpartisan health policy center at the University of Michigan.  

Counties with the fastest growth in Medicaid beneficiaries between 2014 and 2017 include Baraga County in the Upper Peninsula and Alcona and Crawford County in the northern portion of the lower peninsula. 

 

The revised U.S. Senate bill, named the Better Care Reconciliation Act, would put those covered by Healthy Michigan at risk of losing that coverage as early as 2020, according to an analysis by CHRT.

The bill would cap the amount of money the federal government distributes to states for Medicaid enrollees on a per-person basis — a cap the CHRT says would lead to major cuts in state funding for traditional Medicaid recipients over time.

Half of residents who receive health insurance benefits through traditional Medicaid are children.

CHRT notes that the cuts to Medicaid in the latest Senate bill are much deeper than those proposed in the U.S. House health care reform bill, which could cost Michigan between $2.5 billion and $14.9 billion in federal funds for Medicaid in 2026, according to an analysis by the Commonwealth Fund

 

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