'A Conversation with the Governor' to provide information about Healthy Michigan initiative

Gov. Rick Snyder is launching a series of informational meetings regarding the proposed Healthy Michigan plan.

The sessions, called “A Conversation with the Governor,” will be conducted with various audiences across the state. The first meeting will be with Spectrum Health System employees and health care stakeholders in Grand Rapids. Other sessions will be announced as they are finalized.

“The Healthy Michigan plan is vital to the health of our families and the economic success of our state,” Snyder said. “Unfortunately, Michigan now faces a sense of urgency to approve the plan in light of the Senate’s failure to vote before taking a summer vacation. I look forward to sharing information about the plan with health care providers, employers and all Michiganders so that we can work together to move it forward. Healthy Michigan is a good step for our state. It will help build healthier families and a stronger Michigan.”

The initiative will reduce skyrocketing hospital costs resulting from uncompensated health care. Under the plan, nearly half-a-million working but uninsured Michiganders would receive coverage.
In addition to lowering costs, the Healthy Michigan plan prudently includes incentives to encourage healthy lifestyles that will reduce the need for emergency care. The state is projected to save $206 million in the 2014 fiscal year by providing Healthy Michigan plan benefits to those now receiving services paid for with general fund dollars.

The legislation, House Bill 4714, has been approved by the Michigan House with bipartisan support. 

According to the House Fiscal Agency Analysis at www.legislature.mi.gov, “The bill proposes to incorporate the Medicaid expansion included under the federal Affordable Care Act, effective on January 1, 2014, into Michigan's Medicaid Program.  The bill would amend the Social Welfare Act to allow adults less than 65 years of age with an annual income level up to 133% of federal poverty guidelines to enroll in the medical assistance program (Medicaid) unless:

“(1) The state Department of Community Health (DCH) is unable to obtain a waiver from the US Department of Health and Human Services meeting certain criteria established in the bill; and
“(2)  The federal government matching funds for the program are reduced below 100% and annual state savings and other savings associated with the implementation of the program are not sufficient to cover the reduced federal match.  (The DCH would have to determine how state and other savings will be calculated by June 1, 2014.)”

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