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Medicaid expansion sign-ups hit one-year target in just four months

A doctor with a stethoscope on a young boys naked chest (he's wearing pants though)
user Laura4Smith
Backers of state funding for physician training say Michigan faces a shortage of 20,000 doctors in the next decade.

In less than four months, Michigan has already hit its 2014 enrollment goal for the state’s expanded Medicaid program.

More than 322,000 low-income Michiganders now have government sponsored healthcare through the Healthy Michigan program.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) say the dramatic jump in enrollment will help boost the state’s economy.

“We’ve heard stories about people who are now addressing some really serious health problems that prevented them from working,” said Angela Minicuci, a spokesperson for MDCH.

“And now they’re able to go and apply for jobs and search for employment. And that is only going to contribute to Michigan’s economic comeback.”

Minicuci says there haven’t been any major glitches getting people signed up, and that’s a major reason for the quick influx of enrollees.

Late last year, state lawmakers approved expanding Michigan’s Medicaid program using money from the federal health care law. To get there, Republicans added a number of conditions to the Medicaid expansion legislation. Those included requirements that people try to improve their health.

Minicuci says a large majority of enrollees have already met with doctors to do that.

“And that’s huge to have such a large proportion of those people already taking charge and the next steps for getting healthier,” she said.

The state expects the program to eventually cover close to 500,000 people.

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