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State Submits Healthy MI Waiver With Proposed Work Requirements

September 18, 2018

The state has submitted its amended waiver to continue the Healthy Michigan program, with the expanded Medicaid program’s fate now up to the federal government. 

State law stipulates that if the federal government rejects the waiver request, or it’s determined to be noncompliant with state law, the entire Healthy Michigan program would end, meaning 655,000 people who receive health care under the program would likely have to find something.

The waiver must be approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services within 12 months or Healthy Michigan will end, according to a press release issued by Gov. Rick Snyder’s office announcing the submission. 

The state also avoided having the program end by submitting a new waiver before Oct. 1, as failing to do so would’ve also killed Healthy Michigan. 

The amended waiver would institute an increase in cost-sharing, as well as the work requirements provision approved by the Legislature.

Snyder’s office said the proposed work requirements “closely mirror” current cash and food assistance program requirements, and wouldn’t take effect until 2020, if approved by the federal government. 

The work requirements would apply only to able-bodied individuals in the Healthy Michigan program who don’t meet one of the 12 exemptions spelled out in law. 

“Our Healthy Michigan program has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Michiganders, and I’m very proud of the success we have seen,” Snyder said in a statement. “Having health insurance allows Michiganders the ability to live independent and healthy lives, and in many cases tears down a barrier to employment.” 

Some have speculated Healthy Michigan and its proposed work requirements could be in trouble because a federal judge struck down the federal government’s approval of a similar work requirement for Kentucky’s program

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