MIChild is Changing, and It Generally Will Mean Better Coverage for Michigan Kids


MIChild is changing, effective January 1, 2016.

First--what is MIChild? MIChild is the state-run Children's Health Insurance Program for children who are over-income for Medicaid but whose families are still low-income. Whether a family has one child or ten children, the cost to the family is $10/month. 

What isn't changing?

  • MIChild will still cost $10/month per family. Payments will still be made directly to MIChild.
  • MIChild will still get your children medical, dental, and vision services. 
  • Applications to MIChild will continue to go through the DHHS MIBridges system.
  • There will still be no copays for MIChild services.
Visit  michigan.gov/mibridges , and apply for health coverage.

Visit michigan.gov/mibridges, and apply for health coverage.

What is changing?

Children will receive a (Medicaid) mihealth card instead of a MIChild card. Most children will also get a card from a health plan. Note: If you ever had a mihealth card before, and you don't still have it, you will need to call and request one. Call 1-888-367-6557.

Dental coverage has three changes: coverage will now take place through the Healthy Kids Dental program (in many cases, that will mean more access to dentists); there will be no maximum dollar limit for dental costs; and dental coverage will be limited to the Medicaid dental benefit. 

There will no longer be access to acupuncture.

Vision services will be limited to one routine eye exam every two years. (But if you need to see an eye doctor for an eye problem more frequently, that will be covered.)

Your DHHS specialist will be responsible for helping you if you need transportation to appointments. (Unless you live in Wayne, Oakland, or Macomb counties, in which case you would call 1-866-569-1902.)

MIChild enrollees will ALSO have access to additional services:

  • Help with transportation to and from covered services (if you do not have a ride)
  • Expanded hearing related services
  • Podiatrist (foot doctor) services
  • Expanded nursing facility services
  • Some school-based services (e.g. physical and speech therapy for eligible individuals), unless covered by your health plan
  • Expanded benefits for pregnant women and infants (Maternal Infant Health Program)
  • Home help services
  • Expanded well child benefits

Program Administration

The local DHHS office will now process enrollments, and you can be enrolled as early as the month after your application. Changes in income, household size, and renewals will all be processed through your local DHHS office.

Most people will need to choose a health plan for their children, and the health plan choices will be the same as the Medicaid health plans. If you want to change your health plan, call 1-888-367-6557.

Find the MDHHS Frequently Asked Questions brochure here.


Under the old MIChild rules, an application received during December would have an eligibility begin date of February, January applications would be eligible for March, etc. The new rules enacted January 1, 2016 enable the child to be enrolled in the month of application and allow retroactive coverage for 3 months or back to the date that the program became effective, which in this case is January 1, 2016.  Retroactive coverage cannot be applied to December 2015 because MIChild  rules did not allow retroactive coverage during that time frame. 

--R. Kraut

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