It's important that employers understand all the benefits options out there for their talent. Even if your business doesn't offer benefits right now, your people still need coverage. Helping your workforce understand their health care options builds goodwill and ensures that your employees are in good health.
Following is a quick-and-dirty Q&A on affordable health insurance in Michigan, the Healthy Michigan Plan:
The Healthy Michigan Plan is built on the belief that Michiganders shouldn't have to pick between paying bills and taking care of their health. In short, the plan makes health care benefits available at a low cost.
Healthy Michigan is for people who did not previously qualify for Medicaid. The program is not replacing Medicaid (which provides coverage for low-income people) or Medicare (which provides coverage for seniors and younger people with disabilities).
The Healthy Michigan Plan provides the essential health benefits as set by the federal government. The plan provides the following services:
For the full spectrum of what's covered, check out The Healthy Michigan Plan Handbook (PDF).
And yes, pre-existing conditions are covered! The plan cannot deny coverage for pre-existing conditions.
The state of Michigan has set the following eligibility rules. Applicants for the plan must:
To help employees figure out whether they're candidates for the plan, we suggest sharing the eligibility rules as a checklist.
There are three ways to enroll in the Healthy Michigan Plan:
Each person applying for plan coverage needs to present four things:
Again, a checklist of required application materials can ensure smooth enrollment for your employees.
Plan enrollees will have some cost-sharing responsibilities. People whose annual incomes are between 100 percent and 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level will be required to pay 2 percent of their annual income.
Participants also will be responsible for co-pays that are consistent with current Medicaid standards.
The bottom line is that enrollees won't be required to pay more than 5 percent of their annual household income, including co-pays, for health care under the Healthy Michigan Plan. Cost-sharing expenses will come out of a health account called the MI Health Account.
The health plan will provide specific details about payment options after enrollment. Plan participants will have the opportunity to reduce their cost-sharing bill by completing an annual health risk assessment and by changing unhealthy activities.
The state started accepting plan applications April 1, 2014. As of Nov. 3, 2014, 439,975 Michiganders were receiving care through the plan. Enrollment is ongoing.
Coverage is retroactive to the first day of the month in which an enrollee submitted an application. Plan participants will be mailed a health care card that shows status in the Healthy Michigan Plan.
Enrollees are encouraged to take the Healthy Michigan Plan health risk assessment (click here for the PDF version; click here for the Word version). Patients should share the results of the risk assessment with their doctor, and together they can work on care for any health issues.
The Healthy Michigan Plan is well-covered on the web! Check out:
What are some of your best practices for sharing this sort of information with employees? Affordable health insurance in Michigan (and other states) has changed the game for many employers; how have you been managing similar shifts? Please share in comments!