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Enrollment has healthy start

By Krystle Wagner, Grand Haven Tribune, Mich.
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

July 05--OTTAWA COUNTY -- More Michigan residents are receiving health care coverage with the assistance of a state program.

Since the Healthy Michigan Plan was launched in April, more than 300,000 residents throughout the state -- including about 3,460 Ottawa County residents -- have enrolled.

The program is in response to the federal Affordable Care Act requiring states to either expand Medicaid or offer another program that provides coverage.

Over time, state officials estimate more than 477,000 residents will receive coverage through the program.

Angela Minicuci, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Community Health, said they anticipated reaching about 320,000 residents in the program's first year.

"Healthy Michigan is making people in Ottawa County and across the state healthier, and impacting the health of residents is important as Michigan's comeback continues," said Bob Wheaton, spokesman for the state Department of Human Services.

Minicuci said residents enrolling in the program previously didn't have many other health insurance options. She said the residents impacted are low-income, hardworking individuals who have minimum-wage jobs and haven't had enough money to pay for health insurance.

The plan is available for Michigan residents ages 19-64 who have an income at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level ($16,000 for a single person, $33,000 for a family of four), don't qualify for or aren't enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid programs, and aren't pregnant when they apply.

Through the health care program, services such as hospitalizations, maternity care, laboratory services, prescription drugs, and mental health and substance abuse disorder treatment services are covered with co-pays that range from $1 to $50, depending on the service.

The Healthy Michigan Plan requires participants with an annual income between 100 percent and 133 percent of the federal poverty level to contribute at least 2 percent of their income for cost-sharing purposes.

Social Security changes you need to know now.

Residents can apply by phone at 855-789-5610, online at www.michigan.gov/mibridges, or in person at a local Michigan Department of Human Services office. The closest office to the Grand Haven area is located at 12185 James St., Suite 200, in Holland Township.

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(c)2014 the Grand Haven Tribune (Grand Haven, Mich.)

Visit the Grand Haven Tribune (Grand Haven, Mich.) at www.grandhaventribune.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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