Effective January 1, 2020, more than 270,000 Medicaid recipients in Michigan will be required to meet new work requirements in order to maintain their health coverage. Recipients will need to report 80 hours of work and other activities to the state each month.  For many Michiganders, having Medicaid means not having to choose between paying rent or seeing a doctor.

Shannon Wilson, Director of Medicaid Outreach & Quality at Priority Health was a guest on the 95.3 WBCK Morning Show with Tim Collins.

She says when Arkansas implemented similar requirements in 2018, more than 18,000 people lost their coverage.  According to the Arkansas Department of Human Services, very few from last year have regained coverage, and more have fallen off coverage throughout 2019.  She says Medicaid recipients will be required to report on the work requirements by the last day of the month for the previous month’s activities.  Recipients who miss the reporting date can verify compliance up to 60 days after the missed date.

Wilson says under the new requirements, a Medicaid recipient in Michigan will have to have a job and show they worked at least 80 hours per month.   But there are some other things that may be done to meet the requirements.

  • Having a job or income
  • Being a student
  • Looking for a job
  • Volunteering (this activity can only be used for three months each calendar year)
  • Doing job training
  • Participating in a tribal employment program
  • Participating in rehab (substance abuse)
  • Doing vocational training
  • Doing an internship

Wilson says there are also exemptions that will excuse someone from having to tell the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) about monthly work to keep their coverage.

  • pregnant or were pregnant in the last 2 months
  • medically frail due to one or more of the following:
    • physical, mental, or emotional condition that limits a daily activity, like bathing
    • physical, intellectual, or developmental disability that makes it hard to do a daily living activity
    • physical, mental, or emotional condition that needs to be checked often
    • disability based on Social Security criteria (SSDI)
    • chronic substance use disorder (SUD)
    • serious and complex medical condition, or special medical needs
    • in a nursing home, hospice, or get home help services
    • homeless
    • a survivor of domestic violence
  • the main caretaker for a family member under 6(one parent per household)
  • a full-time student
  • under age 21 and were in Michigan foster care
  • in prison or jail in the last 6 months
  • getting State of Michigan unemployment benefits
  • getting temporary or permanent disability payments from a private insurer or the government
  • a medical condition that limits work, approved by a doctor
  • caring for a dependent with a disability and has a doctor's order for full-time care (one claim per household)
  • caring for a person who cannot make decisions for themselves
  • good cause. The beneficiary or a family member:
    • has a serious illness, or
    • is hospitalized, or
    • has a disability that meets the government definition.

To claim an exemption, fill out and send MDHHS the Exemption form MSA-1905by January 31, 2020. The form can be mailed or faxed to:

MDHHS Special Processing Office
Suite 1405
PO Box 30800
Lansing, MI 48909