Medicaid Expansion Debate Continues in Lansing

The Legislators are on a two week session break as schools around the state take spring break this week and next.  That does not mean meetings on issues stop.  This week and next a number of legislators will continue discussions on budgetary items including Medicaid expansion.  Medicaid Expansion is a complex issue and is part of the national healthcare discussion on covering those who are uninsured.  Michigan hospitals provide more than $880 million a year in uncompensated care. These costs are for the patients who are unable to pay or are uninsured and the price tag for this care is shifted to people who have insurance, employers who pay for it as well as taxpayers.  For the Hospitals that serve north Michigan it is in the millions of dollars of uncompensated care that eventually raises the costs of healthcare in our region.  When legislators return in two weeks it will be the topic of continued debate and discussion on how to cover these costs.


Some additional Background info:


Currently in Michigan, the following populations may receive health

coverage through Medicaid-and many already contribute small

co-payments and deductible payments for this coverage because

they work.

• Low-income children

• Low-income pregnant women

• Children with special medical needs

• Low-income young adults

• Disabled children in low-income families

• Low-income caretaker relatives/parents

• Low-income adults who are disabled, aged or blind

• Disabled adult children

• Childless, low-income adults who make at or less than 35 percent of

Federal Poverty Level

• Low-income families

For Example in Grand Traverse County, as of February 2013 (most recent report

available) there are:

• 4,088 beneficiaries of Family Medicaid coverage

• 621 low-income young adult (under 21) Medicaid beneficiaries

• 6,214 low-income pregnant women and children under 19 Medicaid


• 1,979 Non-SSI Aged, Blind and Disabled Medicaid beneficiaries

• 1,551 SSI Aged, Blind and Disabled Medicaid beneficiaries

• Total of 14,453 current Medicaid beneficiaries

The majority of beneficiaries in Grand Traverse (and this is true statewide)

are currently poor children, poor pregnant women, the elderly, the blind

and the disabled. The remainder are largely working poor families.

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