Changes in health insurance are forthcoming – do not get caught without coverage

When COVID-19 arrived on the scene in the spring of 2020, it caused many changes – including changes in the health insurance network for adults and low-income children.

So many people lost their jobs or had their working hours reduced in 2020 that an emergency order was issued.

Under this special order, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and other low-income health insurance programs have temporarily stopped requiring people to prove each year that they still have a low income. In Michigan, that includes Healthy Michigan Plan and on MiChild program.

This has helped people to keep their insurance coverage – both for people who suddenly needed this type of security insurance for the first time, and for people who have received their insurance from these programs for some time.

In Michigan alone, more than two million people were able to take out insurance during the pandemic and receive care when they needed it.

Now that the pandemic has eased and it is easier to find jobs, this urgent order will soon be over. Some people call it “relaxation.”

This means that everyone in these programs will have to renew their coverage if they want to keep it.

In Michigan, the process will require everyone covered by these types of insurance to provide information on government revenue. Ministry of Health and Human Services. The state will use this information to find out if each person or family is still eligible for these plans based on their income.

We asked experts from Michigan Medicine and other organizations what this means and what people with these types of insurance should do now before the emergency order is revoked.

Note: More information will continue to come out over the next few months, see this article for updates.

  • Don’t panic.

    The state of Michigan and other states will do so gradually, not all at once. So even when an emergency order is revoked, it can take weeks or months for an individual or family to file income information or be rejected by safety insurance. It is not yet clear who will be asked to do so first.

  • Take action now to make sure your country has the right address.

    The state of Michigan will send paper letters to the address he has in the archives. If you have recently moved or have never received a paper letter from the public health department at your current address, call the case officer and give him or her the correct address. Or go to the office in your county for the Department of Health and Human Servicesand do it in person.

    If your address is incorrect and the state sends the letter to the wrong or old address and you never receive it, they may still exclude you from your health insurance without your knowledge.

    Important note: Just updating your address on the MiBridges website in Michigan or another government site may not be enough. Talk to a real person and make sure your correct address is in the archive.

    If you do not live in Michigan but you or your children have income-based insurance, check with your state or local Medicaid department; find a complete list of websites and contact information here.

  • When you receive a letter, act quickly:

    In Michigan, the state will send letters to everyone in those programs for which there are addresses. Each person or family will be asked to provide information on their current income.

    Some people, especially those with both Medicare and Medicaid, may need to provide more information about other assets, such as houses, cars, or bank accounts.

    If you submit income information, the state will review it and you will either receive a letter stating that you can continue in the program for another year, or a letter stating that you are determined not to meet the conditions and your coverage will not be renewed.

    If you do not receive a letter due to a bad address or receive it but do not provide information, you may lose your coverage. The state will send another letter stating that you have been removed from the insurance program at the end of the month in which the letter was sent.

    If you know that your income has risen above the limit, you still need to provide the information required in the letter. Your coverage will continue until the state reviews your information and you do not receive a letter stating that your coverage will end at the end of the month.

    If you find that your coverage is about to end, act quickly again. You will have limited time to register for health insurance through your employer (if offered) or through the Healthcare.gov Marketplace. If you miss this opportunity, you may not have insurance until the end of 2022, although you may be able to purchase a plan on the Marketplace (continue reading to learn more).

  • If you have a job that offers insurance, learn more about it now. Talk to your employer about how to enroll in it, now or later.

    According to national law, if you receive a letter stating that you no longer qualify for Medicaid or other safety net coverage, your employer must reveal his plan to you, even if it is not the usual time for open enrollment. You have 60 days to register.

    If you still qualify for Medicaid because of your income, but also have access to work insurance, sometimes you can keep Medicaid as your primary insurance policy and use your work-related insurance for other expenses.

  • If you do not have access to work-related insurance, but your income is already above the safety net insurance limit, now is the time to consider what kind of insurance you can buy for yourself and your family.

    The Healthcare.gov website has a special open enrollment period until the end of 2022 for people with incomes below 150% of the federal poverty level.

    Even if your income is higher than that, the loss of insurance is always considered a “life event” that gives you access to purchase a plan on Healthcare.gov.

    Depending on your income, you may be eligible for financial aid to pay for some of the coverage costs of a plan you purchase from Healthcare.gov.

    Go to https://www.healthcare.gov/screener/ to find out if you can buy insurance now or soon on the Marketplace.

    Important: You can look at the plans now and find out what kind of financial aid you could receive. But don’t end the process of enrolling in this type of coverage until you realize that your income-based coverage is over.

  • If you have a doctor or other provider that you especially want to continue attending, or appointments or procedures scheduled for this year, be sure to check to see if they accept the insurance plan you can switch to.

    You can see which doctors and other providers and which hospitals are online for each insurance plan by checking or calling the plan’s website.

    You can also check the website of the clinic, health care system or hospital you plan to go to. For example, here is the page with insurance plans that Michigan Medicine accepts for services at all University of Michigan health hospitals and clinics. If you shop from the Marketplace, you can see the list of Marketplace plans that Michigan Medicine accepts here.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help:

    Large hospitals and county health departments offer help in dealing with health insurance issues. In Michigan, the state is adding more staff to help people understand their capabilities.

    If you are in southeastern Michigan, you can contact Washtenaw’s health plan at 734-544-3030 or [email protected].

    Michigan Medical Financial Advisors can help anyone in Michigan; call them at 877-326-9155 between 8:00 and 17:00 Monday to Friday or send an email to [email protected].

    Or use The local care section of healthcare.gov or contact a local safety clinic to find help anywhere in the country.

  • If you receive a new form of insurance, be sure to tell your doctor’s office or other places where you receive care.

    They need to update their records with the information you provide. They will not receive a notification from the state if you are no longer covered by Medicaid or the Healthy Michigan plan. They need to know where to send the bills for each care you receive.

  • Don’t just let your insurance go down!

    Having an insurance gap can be very bad for your health. Studies show that many people seek care without delay because they will have to pay the full cost.

    What if you had an emergency and need care right away? Or did you have a symptom that needed to be checked? If you don’t have money saved that you can use to pay directly for care, you may end up with big bills.

    Get at least some form of insurance to cover high costs – and things like COVID-19 testing and care if you need it.

  • If you have appointments or procedures scheduled for the next few months or need care now, your current plan should cover them. But that may change if your insurance ends or changes.

    As the renewal process will take place gradually, you are covered by your current program until you learn otherwise. But that’s why it’s so important to make sure your address is correct and to respond to every letter in a timely manner.

    If you lose coverage because you did not receive the letter or did not provide the necessary information, and the hospital or clinic cannot receive payment for the services you receive, they will have to send you the bill.

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