(09/16/13) - After months of rallying support for a much debated piece of legislation, Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law Medicaid expansion, Monday.
The state's chief executive calling it a win-win for all of us.
Snyder says lawmakers put aside politics to help people, and this expansion is long over due.
Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn was the back drop for Gov. Snyder's signing. Behind him was a coalition of health care providers, small business owners and individuals who support the state's decision to offer healthcare to more people.
This expansion will help adults between the ages of 19-64 who are not disabled and don't have small children and making up to 133 percent of the poverty level. That's roughly a little more than $15,000 a year for a single person and $32,000 for a family of four.
President and CEO of Health Plus of Michigan Bruce Hill was one of the many health professionals who joined Governor Rick Snyder Monday to sign the Medicaid expansion bill.
"There were some that were speaking as if this was an event that rivaled the entry of Medicare," Hill said.
HealthPlus is a dominant Medicaid provider in Flint and Saginaw. Hill says that won't change.
"We have approximately 50 percent of the market chooses HealthPlus," he said. "We look forward to serving the new members as well."
The Genesee Health plan estimates Healthy Michigan will help 40,000 adults get healthcare in Genesee County. State wide, close to half a million people will have access to a primary care physician.
They have the opportunity to get care tied with a primary care physician, they can be proud and satisfied they have coverage, it makes a big difference for HealthPlus," Hill said.
Michigan will have to get a federal waiver to fully implement the expansion known as Healthy Michigan because it differs from federal government's plan. It calls for some contribution from the Medicaid recipient.
"We've got a lot of hard work to go now that this legislation comes into play to get people signed up to educate people on how to do this appropriately, how we can do personal responsibility and wellness with people in need to create this better system and be more competitive," Snyder said. "It's smart for us, in terms of saving us money, we were paying for all those ER visits, in terms of all 10 million of us and this is a chance to do more efficiently and more thoughtfully."
"Contained in this bill are incentives and rewards and there are also penalties for bad behavior because we need results, not just good intentions," said Sen. Roger Kahn, Saginaw (R).
Gov. Snyder says the expanded coverage is long overdue.
"We want them to have a chance at a better quality of life, to have that family, to have that career opportunity, so that's why this is so important, it's a win-win for all of us," he said.
The state is still working out the details on how people will apply. Once the state determines eligibility rules, Medicaid recipients will choose the plan that best suits them.
If you're 65 and older, Medicaid expansion does not apply to you.
Enrollment begins April 1, 2014
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