Medicaid coverage will be available in Flint to cover children up to age 21 and pregnant women as part of the ongoing efforts to help people affected by the Flint water crisis, Gov. Rick Snyder said today. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved the state's waiver, which was submitted on Feb. 14, 2016, to provide short- and long-term health support.
"Providing important health resources to Flint residents will help us better mitigate the risks of lead exposure and identify long-term health challenges," Snyder said. "Together with the health care community, we are working to ensure that Flint residents receive a full range of health and social support today and in the future. I appreciate that our federal partners expedited the review and granted this waiver."
Approval of the waiver request means Michigan's Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program services will be available to approximately 15,000 residents who were served by the Flint water system.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the State Budget Office will work with the state Legislature to ensure Flint residents have access to the health resources they need.
The state is working to implement changes to its eligibility systems so that it can process applications as quickly as possible. MDHHS and the governor's office will then provide information to Flint residents on how to apply for coverage.
In his request letter, Snyder said the state of Michigan would dedicate case managers to help individuals with:
Coordinating primary care physicians and behavioral health providers, Medicaid health plans and others to ensure access to all necessary health services;
Providing nutrition support;
Improving access to educational and social support and services that may be available in the community to assist them with their individual needs.
The program would meet the needs of Flint's children, in addition to many other forms of aid being provided by the state of Michigan, the city of Flint and others. Medicaid and CHIP now are primarily income-based aid programs.
Those eligible for coverage include children up to the age of 21 and are being served, or who were served, by Flint's water system between April 2014 and a future date when the water system is deemed safe. Pregnant women and their children also will be made eligible. Coverage is available to all income levels. Individuals with income over 400 percent of the federal poverty level - which is $47,520 for one person or $97,200 for a family of four - will need to buy into the program in order to receive full Medicaid benefits.