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More than 700,000 Michiganders could lose Medicaid insurance in the coming months

Michiganders with Medicaid will have to redetermine their eligibility to stay enrolled

For the first time since the pandemic began, the federal government will require people with Medicaid to show income eligibility to keep their insurance.

According to the Center for Health and Research Transformation, that could result in 700,000 or more people in Michigan being disenrolled from the Medicaid insurance program in the coming months.

The center's Matt Hill says not everyone who is disenrolled will actually be ineligible. The state's health agency will put notices online on people's Medicaid accounts, and also send mailings — but people may not pay attention in time or they may have moved and not updated their address.

"You may miss notices about the redetermination process and therefore get unenrolled, just due to the fact that you didn't know the process was underway," he said.

Hill said people who are disenrolled but are still eligible will be able to reapply, but the process is complicated. And people who no longer meet the Medicaid income eligibility requirements can still try to find insurance on the federal marketplace known as Obamacare.

But he said many will likely stay uninsured due to budget and inflation worries. The question, he said, will be "how bad do I need this coverage, versus how bad do I need to put food on the table?"

Hill says the state and local community groups will be doing sustained outreach to people on Medicaid, to help them with the process of redetermining their eligibility.

The redetermination period begins on April 1.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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