Special Medicaid program open for enrollment

Low-income Ottawa County residents lacking medical insurance have a new opportunity.
Krystle Wagner
Apr 10, 2013


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.



I was really excited to see this article as I have no insurance and meet all of the qualifications. Except the income! $5000 for a family of 2? My husband and I are living on his disability which gives us an income of $9000/yr. Thought for sure that would be low enough to qualify!


Why are you living on his disability?


Well, it isn't really any of your business. But, I will tell you anyway. I lost my job a year and a half ago to downsizing (combined programs-I was gone). My unemployment has run out. Have a college degree, so, am "over-qualified" for many jobs I have applied for. Also, have some health issues that don't allow me to work in some fields. And, not many employers wanting to hire anyone who is 60.


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