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Special Medicaid program open for enrollment

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:26 PM

From now until April 30, residents can sign up for the Adult Benefits Waiver with the Medicaid program, which provides basic health care coverage.

Currently, 150 county residents and 26,000 Michiganders are enrolled in the program, said Kristina Wieghmink, spokeswoman for the Ottawa County Health Department.

Enrollment in the Adult Benefit Waiver has been closed for more than two years.

Wieghmink said they expect the amount of enrollees to increase this month to between 350 and 400 in Ottawa County and about 40,000 in the state.

While not everyone is qualified for the coverage, those who can benefit are residents who are low-income, non-pregnant, don’t have children and are age 19-64.

To qualify, your income must be at or below 35 percent of the federal poverty level. That would be an annual income of $5,428.50 or less for a household of two. A single-person household would have to earn $4,021.50 or less.

While not all health care services are covered by the insurance, some that are include emergency department and urgent care visits, family planning, and some pharmacy products. Some services require a co-pay.

Angela Minicuci, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Community Health, said more residents with insurance will cut down on uncompensated costs for hospitals.

“Without this waiver, we wouldn’t be able to provide insurance to them,” she said.

How to apply for the Adult Benefits Waiver program:

— Enrollment is open through April 30

— Apply online at michigan.gov/dhs

— To apply in person, make an appointment with the Ottawa County Department of Human Services by calling 616-494-5545.

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