DHHS

Our Courtyard Transforms! It's Now...Built To Play!

A couple of years ago, WHP staff took a photo in the courtyard between our building and the Department of Health and Human Services. What was then benches and rosebushes is now…a playground!

This project was funded by the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation Initiative, Built to Play.

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For parents coming in and out of the Washtenaw Health Plan, Washtenaw County WIC or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, this could be a nice break in a day of errands! Maybe next time, the kids will not just “tolerate” coming to our campus, but will actually look forward to it!

The transformation was quick (it just took a few days!), and we will still have the nice trees turning colors in the fall.

For more details about why the health department applied for the grant, read this conversation on the Built to Play website with WCHD Communications and Community Health Promotion Manager Susan Ringler-Cerniglia.

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Medicaid Work Requirements Signed--What Next?

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On Friday, June 22nd, Governor Snyder signed SB 897, the Medicaid work requirements bill. (Read about its details here. Read the full bill here.) We have been getting phone calls about what this means for individuals. For now, nothing has changed.

What happens next? The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services needs to submit a request for a waiver to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and they need to approve the waiver, before any work requirements will be in place. In the meantime, if you are eligible for Medicaid, you should apply. (Figure out if you are income eligible here.)

Remember that Medicaid is open year-round, so a change in circumstances (losing a job or losing insurance, getting married, getting pregnant, etcetera) can mean you are now eligible when you were not before. If that is the case, please give us a call at 734-544-3030 or come into our offices at 555 Towner in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We will be helping people learn how to comply with Medicaid work requirements once they are in place, but for now, the Medicaid program is the same as it was yesterday. Keep Calm! Apply On!

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Four Reasons (Aside From The Work Requirement) To Ask Governor Snyder To Veto The Medicaid Work Requirements Bill

As if the Medicaid work requirements, discussed more fully in our last blog post, are not enough, there are four other problems with the Medicaid Work Requirements bill, also known as SB 897. This analysis quotes a FamiliesUSA blog post, written by Eliot Fishman, Senior Director of Health Policy. Read his full blog post here.

Read the House Fiscal Agency Legislative Analysis here. You can find a lot of the details in the House Fiscal Agency Legislative Analysis.

As Fishman notes:  

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1. The Bill Gives the Trump Administration and Washington Bureaucrats the Power to Kill the Healthy Michigan Program: As of now, with the Affordable Care Act surviving in Congress, the only people who can take Healthy Michigan coverage away or Michiganders and their state officials. But the new bill gives the Federal government one year to approve Michigan’s waiver request or the Healthy Michigan program goes away, leaving all of its enrollees with no health insurance...
2. The Bill Includes a Bizarrely Punitive Premium for Near-Poor Working People: People with incomes just over the poverty line come in for particularly harsh treatment in the bill. Anyone with an income between 100% and 138% of the poverty level for four years or more are forced to pay 5% of their income—far higher than any premium in Medicaid in any other state—or lose their coverage. This would create a strong incentive to REDUCE income to under the poverty line...
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3. The Bill Would Lock People Out of Coverage for a Year for Paperwork Discrepancies: The bill creates a broad mandate on Michigan Medicaid to take coverage away from people in the Healthy Michigan program for a year if they are found to have “misrepresented their compliance” in required monthly reporting of their work hours...
4. The Bill Creates a Crazy, Rushed Timeline for the Snyder Administration to Write and Submit a Waiver: The Snyder administration is required to submit a waiver to the Trump administration by October 1, 2018.  But federal and state law require the waiver to be submitted for public and tribal consultation starting 60 days before federal submission—so no later than the end of July. That gives Michigan Medicaid just a few weeks to lay out their plans to implement this complex mess of a bill.

You can ask Governor Snyder to veto this bill. Contact Governor Snyder here.

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Who Is DHHS And What Do They Do?

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is the largest state department. The department was created by a merger of the Michigan Department of Community Health and the Department of Human Services in the spring of 2015. 

DHHS has several important departments that affect many of the people of the state of Michigan. 

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These programs include financial and health assistance programs, foster care and protective services, health statistics, and community health interventions. In many cases, the Washtenaw Health Plan and the Washtenaw County Health Department work closely with DHHS. Even though we may help people apply for Medicaid, it is DHHS that determines eligibility. 

Medicaid and Financial Assistance (cash assistance, food assistance)


Washtenaw Cty WIC office staff. 

Washtenaw Cty WIC office staff. 

Women Infants and Children (WIC)--policies are set at the state level, but of course you can visit the Washtenaw County Health Department for WIC services.  WIC services include Food Packages, Nutrition Education, Breastfeeding Promotion and Support and more.  


Foster Care and Adoption Services: Washtenaw County is looking for additional foster care families. Interested? Follow the link!


Michigan Rehabilitation Services provides specialized employment and education-related services and training to assist teens and adults with disabilities in becoming employed or retaining employment.


Native American Affairs provides a broad range of social services to protect, preserve and strengthen Native American families both on and off tribal lands.


Child and Adult Protective Services: Have a concern about someone? Call 855-444-3911 to trigger an investigation.


Chronic Diseases: The State of Michigan chronic disease team works closely with the Washtenaw County Health Department and other county health departments around the state.


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Communicable Diseases: The state works closely with health departments around the state to track diseases like Hepatitis A. Find Washtenaw County data here


Epidemiology and Statistics: Learn about infant mortality, cancer statistics, and other vital statistics.


Policy and Planning: Here is where you can find policy manuals that guide much of the state's work.

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The new MIBridges! Applying for benefits gets prettier. (And better.)

It's here!  The new MIBridges website is an upgrade worth checking out. [You may want to bookmark michigan.gov/mibridges.] Although there are still a few bugs, if you are eligible for public benefits it is easier to apply and manage your benefits. 

Favorite Features

MIBridges Is Now Smartphone Friendly!

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As you can see from the images in this blog post, the new MIBridges is easier on the eyes.  The layout is more open and dynamic with pleasing colors. It is also very easy to use on a phone.  Uploading documents is as easy as taking a photo! 

 

It Is Easy To Upload Documents

When MDHHS needs to verify information, you used to have to wait for a request from the caseworker to upload a document in the old MIBridges.  Sometimes you would have to wait for a letter in the mail and then fax the information to MDHHS.  Now there is a new and improved interface that makes uploading documents a breeze. (Although MDHHS states you can mail your verifications, WHP staff suggests that you NEVER mail anything to MDHHS.  You have no proof that you turned in your documents. Upload or fax, that's the best.)  Now you can upload documents using your smartphone, tablet or laptop anytime and it's easy!  You don't have to wait for a request from the caseworker. 

Now hold onto your hat because after you have uploaded your documents, you can view your documents.  No more uploading documents with no confirmation or way to check if the upload was successful.   EASY and USEFUL.

 

Notifications

The previous MIBridges system allowed you to put in your phone number or email address and you were supposed to get a text or email when there was new information in your account.  You also have this option with the New MIBridges, but it is easier to find the "opt-in" notification, and it works more consistently. 

 

Report Changes

Now you can report changes quickly and easily.  Reporting proof of a new baby, a new job or enrollment in Medicare only takes a few minutes.  You report the change and upload the proof or verification in the same session.  There is no waiting for the caseworker to request a document.  If you know you need to provide proof of employment, pregnancy, change in income or any other changes, you can do it easily.

 

Identity Verification/Proofing

When you create an account or register for an account, you create a user id and password with 3 security questions.  MDHHS added another level of security, identity proofing.  Questions to which only you know the answer are pulled from your credit report to which only you know the answer.  This is a new level of security and will help to keep your information safe.  Keep a record of your new account information because it can be tricky to reset your password.  

 

My Benefits 

When you click My Benefits you can see all benefits for each member of your family.  If you click on an individual, you will see their Medicaid Health Plan if they have one.  

At this writing, this feature does not work 100% of the time, but when it works, it works well.

 

 View Letters 

You can see all the letters you have received for the last year.  In the old MIBridges, you could only see the last 60 days of letters.  Letters are visible the day they are generated.  If you are signed up for Notifications, you will be able to view your letter before it arrives in your mailbox.  

At this writing, this feature does not work 100% of the time, but when it works, it works well.

 

 Case History

When you click on Case History, you can see change reports, applications and renewals that were submitted.  This will help keep track of what you have submitted to DHHS.  It also keeps a record of when you requested a benefit or address update.  This is a handy feature!


The new MIBridges is available in English, Spanish and Arabic!

 

Give the new MIBridges a try!  And, as always, if you run into any trouble, have questions or need assistance, give us a call.  Washtenaw Health Plan - We Help People!  734-544-3030

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Ten Reasons To Oppose Medicaid Work Requirements

Printable pdf of this blog post here.

You may have heard that there are some proposals in the Michigan legislature to require individuals on Medicaid to work in order to continue to qualify for Medicaid  (Proposed in March 2018: Senate Bill 897 and House Bill 5716). The Washtenaw Health Plan and Washtenaw County are opposed to any efforts to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. Here's why: 

1. Most people on Medicaid are already working.

Those who are not working, are most likely to be found taking care of young children, elderly relatives, to be living in high unemployment areas, or to be in poor health themselves. The vast majority of individuals in Medicaid are in households with at least one working person (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2016). 

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In December 2017, a team of University of Michigan researchers did extensive research on individuals in the Michigan Medicaid expansion, called the Healthy Michigan Plan, population.

  • Nearly half the individuals are working (48.8%)
  • 5% are students
  • Nearly 5% are home taking care of children
  • 11% reported being unable to work because of their health
  • Over one fourth are out of work, many of them because they are in fair or poor health. Three-quarters of those who were out of work reported having a chronic health condition.

NOTE: This study was the first peer-reviewed study from the formal evaluation of Michigan's expansion, called the Healthy Michigan Plan. The evaluation, funded by a contract with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, was required under Michigan's federal waiver. 

As Renuka Tipirneni, lead author of the study notes, "'Is it worth the cost to screen and track enrollees when only a small minority isn't working who are potentially able to work?"

2. The Medicaid expansion has helped improve individuals' health.

Health improvements mean it is more likely that they will be able to work--now or in the future. 

According to the UM IHPI study, "In all, nearly half of the newly covered Michiganders said their physical health improved in the first year of coverage, and nearly 40 percent said their mental or dental health got better. Those who said their health improved also had the most chance of experiencing an effect on their work life. As a group, they were four times more likely to say that getting Medicaid coverage helped them do a better job at work. And those who felt their health had improved, but were out of work, were three times as likely to say that their coverage helped them look for a job."

3. Work requirements can worsen (or externalize) other problems. 

For instance, a person with epilepsy who loses access to seizure medications could have a seizure while driving and have a car accident. The cost, then, is to the individual (who is injured by the car accident and seizure), to the costs to the insurance system, and potentially to other individuals involved in the car accident.

4. Work requirements cost the system more.

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Work requirements drive people to more expensive care. Rather than a person getting preventive care, and a prescription, from a primary care doctor for an easily treated problem like high blood pressure, they are more likely to end up in the emergency room, where they know they will not be turned away. Rather than getting a free flu vaccine, they are more likely to get the flu--ending up infecting others, requiring time off work, and perhaps risking a hospitalization. 

5. Work requirements place a huge administrative burden on Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) staff.  

DHHS staff already struggle under enormous caseloads. The administrative burden of this additional work is significant. The true number of people who could work but aren't is small. Yet requiring people to show that they are working, or cannot work, requires a lot of time on the part of DHHS staff.

Paperwork photo by Tom Ventura

Paperwork photo by Tom Ventura

6. Work requirements place a huge administrative burden on individuals with Medicaid.

In addition, they are likely to affect many others. For instance, if one person in a family does not return proof they are working, others in the family may be wrongfully cut off. This policy is another bureaucratic obstacle intended to keep poor people from getting healthcare.

7. We are in the midst of an opioid epidemic and a surge in suicides.

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Mental health and substance use disorder services are essential; suicide is preventable. Work requirements make it difficult for individuals getting mental health or substance use treatment to continue to get treatment. In 2015, the State of Michigan's Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force report recommended " exploring ways for the State to increase access to care, including wraparound services and MAT [Medication-Assisted Therapy], as indicated by national and state guidelines for treatment. (p. 20)" Work requirements would surely reduce access to care. 

8. Work requirements put physicians and nurses in an untenable position.

Physicians take the Hippocratic oath, to do no harm, but if people are cut off of Medicaid and physicians are unable to get paid for patient visits, their organizations will find it financially untenable to take care of these patients. That is one reason that the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Osteopathic Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics have taken a position against Medicaid work requirements. Read their statement here.

9. Work requirements threaten the health of people with disabilities.

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As the IHPI study indicates, many individuals who have Medicaid and are not working are doing so because they are in poor or fair health. In the experience of staff at the Washtenaw Health Plan, in many cases the access to health care allows people to either a) get better, and start working or b) get the necessary evidence from competent physicians to show that they are disabled. Without Medicaid, many individuals would not be able to collect the medical evidence to prove that they are disabled. In 2016, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 36% of people on Medicaid who are not working are disabled.

10. The Washtenaw Health Plan and the Washtenaw County Health Department believe that healthcare is a human right.

We oppose efforts to reduce access to coverage, and believe in healthcare for all. The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners agrees with us. Read their resolution here

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Greatest Hits! Our Top 5 Posts of All Time

Here's a look back--our top 5 blog posts of all time are worth a first look, and a second look too!

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1. The most sought-after blog post, getting twice as many hits as any other blog post, was the very first blog post that staff member Tonya South Peterson wrote for us! It has resources for how to get eyeglasses if you have Medicaid. With Medicaid, eyeglasses are a covered benefit!

Need Eyeglasses? Medicaid Has You Covered

What's more, this blog post is also available in Spanish.

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2. The #2 blog post is about how to use Medicaid as secondary insurance. This post has more comments than any other blog post, perhaps because not much has been written for the general public about Medicaid as secondary insurance and it can be a bit complicated. (But not super complicated--it's not too different from having insurance from two employers.)

Good News: Medicaid Can Be Secondary Insurance

Find this blog post in Spanish as well. 

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3. The #3 blog post describes how to find a DHHS caseworker's email and/or phone number. In the coming year, DHHS is planning on moving to a "universal caseworker" system, and most people may not have caseworkers in the traditional sense. But whatever happens, we will keep you posted, and update this post as needed.

How To Find A DHHS Caseworker's Email Address (And Phone Number)

Read this in Spanish.

 

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4. The #4 post was the #1 post in 2016! Trying to figure out which Medicaid health plans to choose can be tricky.  In 2018 there will be some changes, particularly to the dental plan choices of the Medicaid health plans--but we will keep you updated as those changes get closer.

Choosing A Medicaid Health Plan (Updated)

This post is also in Spanish.

 

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5. Last but not least--the #5 blog post is a must read for people who have small businesses or do contract/consulting work. It's better to start early, tracking your income and expenses, than to start late. If the information is basically the same as last year's, you can use your taxes, but if you are just starting a new business, this may be what you need.

Help! How Do I Report Self-Employment Income For Medicaid Or The Marketplace?

Read this in Spanish.

 

Are you curious about what our top posts were in 2016?

There is some overlap. Read the Top Posts of 2016 here.

Want to see all of our Spanish posts? We have a page that holds all of our Spanish posts.

Do you have questions or ideas for other blog posts? Let us know in the comments.

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Actualizado ** Entendiendo el Deducible de Medicaid, o "Spenddown"

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In English - Updated** Understanding A Medicaid Deductible, or "Spenddown"

La mayoría de los programas de Medicaid cubren todos los beneficios esenciales de salud, como visitas al médico y al hospital, servicios de atención dental y de visión. Sin embargo, algunos programas sólo cubren beneficios limitados. Por ejemplo, el Medicaid de Servicios de Emergencia y el programa MOMS (información aqui) proporcionan servicios parciales a los inmigrantes. Otro programa "parcial" se llama el programa Deducible de Medicaid (anteriormente llamado Medicaid Spenddown).


El programa de Deducible de Medicaid está disponible para personas con discapacidades, ancianos, niños y padres de niños que están sobre el límite de ingresos para el Medicaid completo. A fin de calificar para un deducible, también tendría que cumplir con una prueba de activos (que tiene en cuenta sus activos, excluyendo una casa y un coche). Un individuo que está sobre el límite de ingresos para Medicaid y tiene muy pocos activos puede ser aprobado para el programa de deducible. El Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos (DHHS) especificará la cantidad del deducible, un número que oscila entre menos de cien dólares y varios miles de dólares. Este número se basa en los ingresos de su hogar.

LA IDEA ES SIMPLE, PERO LA ACCIÓN ES COMPLICADA

Con un deducible mensual de Medicaid, para que Medicaid llegue a ser completamente activo, las facturas que ascienden al deducible deben ser alcanzadas en un mes determinado. El individuo es entonces responsable del deducible y DHHS paga el resto. Por ejemplo, digamos que el deducible de Martha fue fijado en $ 800, y Martha tiene una factura del hospital en Mayo por $ 5,000.

Martha es responsable de pagar los $ 800 al hospital y DHHS paga $ 4,200. Para que DHHS pague, se debe presentar un informe de deducible.

Si la factura fue incurrida el 1 de Mayo y se presentó un reporte de deducible, durante el resto del mes Martha tiene Medicaid completo y Medicaid pagaría por cualquier servicio médico necesario, como gafas, limpieza dental o medicamentos. A partir del 1 de Junio, Martha no tiene Medicaid, pero de nuevo tendría que cumplir con un deducible.

Si Martha ingresó al hospital el 31 de Mayo y no tenía gastos médicos antes de esa fecha, no alcanzaría el deducible hasta el 31 de Mayo. A partir del 1 de Junio, el deducible / spenddown se restablecería, por lo que probablemente no sería posible de que le limpien los dientes en Mayo! Algunas personas, particularmente las personas que viven en hogares de ancianos, cumplen con su deducible cada mes, pero la mayoría de la gente no.

Recuerde: Para que Medicaid se active, las facturas y un Reporte de Deducible deben ser enviados al trabajador social del DHHS. El deducible debe ser alcanzado de nuevo cada mes para que Medicaid se active.

 

LOS DEDUCIBLES DE MEDICAID PUEDEN AYUDAR, PERO NO SE CUENTAN COMO COBERTURA DE SALUD COMPLETA

Importante: El programa de Deducible de Medicaid no cumple con los mandatos de la Ley de Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio. Esto significa que si esta es la única cobertura que tiene, se le puede aplicar una multa al presentar los impuestos al final del año.
La buena noticia es que usted puede tener un plan del mercado de seguromedicos o una cobertura de seguro de su empleador junto con un deducible de Medicaid. (Recuerde, Medicaid puede ser un seguro secundario.)


¿CONSEGUÍO LA COBERTURA CORRECTA?

A veces un individuo es aprobado para el programa de deducible pero realmente debe tener Medicaid completo. Si usted piensa que debe tener cobertura completa, la oficina del Washtenaw Health Plan ofrece una evaluación gratuita. Para obtener ayuda para presentar las facturas de su deducible de Medicaid o si cree que debe recibir Medicaid completo, vaya a la oficina del Washtenaw Health Plan. El horario de atención es de lunes a viernes de 9:00am a 4:00pm. Estamos ubicados en 555 Towner, Ypsilanti, MI.


¿Preguntas? Llame (734) 544-3030.

-Haley Haddad, Ingrid Fonseca, Ruth Kraut and Meredith Buhalis

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MIChild esta cambiando, y generalmente significara una mejor cobertura para los niños de Michigan.

MICHILD ESTÁ CAMBIANDO, EFECTIVO EL 1 DE ENERO DEL 2016.

Primero - ¿qué es MIChild? MIChild es el Programa Estatal de Seguro de Salud Infantil para niños que tienen ingresos mayores para Medicaid, pero cuyas familias siguen siendo de bajos ingresos. Si una familia tiene un hijo o más, el costo para la familia es $10/mes.

¿QUÉ NO ESTÁ CAMBIANDO?

  • MIChild seguirá costando $ 10 / mes por familia. Los pagos todavía se harán directamente a  MIChild.
  • MIChild todavía ofrece a sus hijos servicios médicos, dentales y de visión.
  • Las aplicaciones para MIChild continuarán a través del sistema DHHS MIBridges.
  • No habrá copagos para los servicios de MIChild.


Visite  michigan.gov/mibridges  y solicite cobertura de salud.

Visite michigan.gov/mibridges y solicite cobertura de salud.

¿QUÉ ESTÁ CAMBIANDO? 

Los niños recibirán una tarjeta (Medicaid) mihealth en lugar de una tarjeta MIChild. La mayoría de los niños también recibirán una tarjeta de un plan de salud. Nota: Si alguna vez ha tenido una tarjeta de mihealth, y todavía no la tiene, tendrá que llamar y solicitar una. Llame al 1-888-367-6557.

La cobertura dental tiene tres cambios: la cobertura ahora se llevará a cabo a través del programa Healthy Kids Dental (en muchos casos, esto significará más acceso a dentistas); No habrá límite máximo en dólares para los costos dentales; y la cobertura dental se limitará al beneficio dental de Medicaid.

Ya no habrá acceso a la acupuntura.

Los servicios de visión se limitarán a un examen ocular de rutina cada dos años. (Pero si necesita ver a un oftalmólogo para un problema ocular con más frecuencia, eso será cubierto.)

Su especialista en DHHS será responsable de ayudarle si necesita transporte para citas. (A menos que viva en los condados de Wayne, Oakland o Macomb, en cuyo caso llamaría al 1-866-569-1902).

MICHILD ENROLLEES TAMBIÉN TENDRÁN ACCESO A SERVICIOS ADICIONALES:

  • Ayuda con el transporte hacia y desde los servicios cubiertos (si no tiene transporte)
  • Ampliación de los servicios relacionados con la audición
  • Servicios de Podología
  • Ampliación de los servicios de enfermería
  • Algunos servicios basados n la escuela (por ejemplo, terapia física y del habla para individuos elegibles), a menos que estén cubiertos por su plan de salud
  • Beneficios ampliados para las mujeres embarazadas y los infantes (Programa de Salud Maternal Infantil)
  • Servicios de ayuda a domicilio
  • Beneficios ampliados de bienestar infantil

ADMINISTRACIÓN DEL PROGRAMA

La oficina local del DHHS ahora procesará las inscripciones, y usted puede ser inscrito tan pronto como el mes después de su solicitud. Los cambios en los ingresos, el tamaño del hogar y las renovaciones serán procesados través de su oficina local del DHHS.


La mayoría de las personas tendrán que elegir un plan de salud para sus hijos, y las opciones del plan de salud serán las mismas que las de los planes de salud de Medicaid. Si desea cambiar su plan de salud, llame al 1-888-367-6557.

Encuentre aquí el folleto de Preguntas Frecuentes de MDHHS.


ACTUALIZACIÓN DE LA COBERTURA MICHILD 1/14/2016

Bajo las viejas reglas de MIChild, una solicitud recibida durante diciembre tendría una fecha de inicio de elegibilidad en febrero, las solicitudes de enero serían elegibles para marzo, etc. Las nuevas reglas promulgadas el 1 de enero del 2016 permiten que el niño sea inscrito en el mes de aplicación y permiten cobertura retroactiva por 3 meses o hasta la fecha en que el programa entró en vigencia, que en este caso es el 1 de enero del 2016. La cobertura retroactiva no puede aplicarse a diciembre del 2015 porque las reglas de MIChild no permitieron una cobertura retroactiva durante ese período.

-R. Kraut, I. Fonseca, S. Quinones

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Emergency Food Assistance: Did you lose food because of the power outage?

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Were you recently affected by the power outage?  There is help if your food was spoiled and had to be thrown away.  

visit a food pantry 

If you lost food during the outage and need food for your family, food pantries can help. Any eligible member of the community can go to a Food Gatherer’s pantry site for food if they are in an emergency and need food immediately. Emergency food resources are intended for those who do not have financial resources for food, and only provide a few days’ worth of food.

Food Gatherers has a great list of food pantries and resources.  Here's a link to their searchable directory.

ACT NOW!

If you currently receive food benefits (sNAP/FAP/Bridge Card), you can apply for extra benefits 

You must visit your local DHHS office BEFORE or ON MONDAY, 03/27/2017 and request a 601 Affidavit.  The 601 Affidavit if printed at the local office and asks you to list the food you lost.  The form is returned to the caseworker and you should receive a notice with about 10 days.  You are eligible for extra assistance up to the amount of your monthly benefit.  If you get $16/month, you will only qualify for $16.  If you have a big family and your benefit is $600, you could qualify for up to $600.  

Your caseworker can request proof that your power was out.  In Washtenaw County, DTE has provided a letter to DHHS listing all the affected zip codes.  Here is a link to the letter.  Here are the zip codes: 48105, 48108, 48109, 48108, 48118, 48130, 48158, 48176, 48189, 48191, 48197 and 48198.  If you are in Wayne County, your DHHS office received a similar letter.  

If you currently do not receive food assistance from DHHS, you can still apply for help. 

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If you are not currently receiving food assistance from DHHS, your best bet is to visit a food pantry.  You can apply for assistance from DHHS by filling out an SER application.  SER application in English. SER application in Spanish.  You are eligible for $3 per person per day.  If you have a big family, it might be worth it to fill out the application.  You can also go to the DHHS office and they can assist you with the application. You must apply before or on Monday, 03/27/2017. 

 

Interested in Food Policy?  Check out the Washtenaw County Food Policy Council!  

 

DHHS Policies

Food Benefit Replacement BAM 502

Emergency Services ERM 209 

 

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