As a result of the Flint water crisis, the State of Michigan applied for--and got--a Medicaid waiver that allows Medicaid to serve children and pregnant women who may have been affected by lead in the water, even if their incomes are above typical Medicaid income cutoffs.
Who is eligible?
Pregnant women and children under age 21 whose income is below 400% of the FPL and were impacted by the Flint water system are now eligible for full Medicaid and targeted case management services. Children of women who were impacted while pregnant are also eligible for full Medicaid and case management services. If your income is above 400% of the poverty level but you qualify for geographic reasons, you will be able to "buy in" to Medicaid in the near future.
If you qualify for Flint Water Group MIChild, you will not have to pay the $10/month co-pay. Young adults up to age 21 and pregnant women who qualify for Flint Water Group Healthy Michigan Plan (or any other type of Medicaid will not have to pay any co-pays or cost-sharing.
What qualifies as "impacted by the Flint water system?"
Anyone who lived, worked, received childcare services or educational services at an address served by the Flint water system from April 1, 2014 going forward is included. There is no end date. Children who attended schools or went to daycare centers are eligible. People who work in Flint but live in another Michigan county are eligible. You must be a Michigan resident. If a 19 year old took a class at UM-Flint, s/he is eligible. If you lived in Flint in June 2014 but moved to Washtenaw County, you are eligible.
I believe I am eligible, what do I do?
You can apply online at michigan.gov/mibridges. When you apply, you will be asked if you consumed water from the Flint water system. The system will also ask you for the city, state, zip code and location type (home, work, school) where you consumed water. You do not have to know the exact address. At this time, you only have to attest that you consumed water from Flint Water System. In the future it may be necessary to provide proof.
I live in Flint and already have Medicaid, so does this matter to me?
If you currently have Medicaid (for children under 21 and pregnant women) and you live in a residence serviced by the Flint water system, you will automatically be enrolled in Flint Water Group Medicaid. This means that you will be eligible for Medicaid even if your income goes up, and that you will be eligible for additional case management services. You should receive a letter explaining the additional services. (Remember: It is important to keep your address updated with DHHS if you move! You can do that by reporting a change online, or by faxing a notice of address change to 517-346-9888. Put your name and case number on the fax.)
My family was denied Medicaid but I think we qualify for the Flint Water Group Medicaid. What do I do?
If you were recently denied Medicaid but believe you are eligible for Flint Water Group Medicaid, contact the Beneficiary Help Line 1-800-642-3195 or your caseworker to report that you are part of the Flint Water Group. Enrollment for Medicaid is open anytime, reapply anytime at michigan.gov/mibridges. If you need help, please contact an agency who can help you.
Is Flint Water Group Medicaid different from other Medicaid?
Yes. Flint Water Group Medicaid includes all Medicaid services (medical, dental and vision) AND targeted case management services. Targeted case management services include an assigned caseworker from Genesee Health System who will coordinate access to needed medical, social, educational and other services. Contact your doctor, your Medicaid health plan or call the Genesee Health System at (810)257-3777 to receive the extra services.
I am an immigrant. Can I still qualify?
If you are an immigrant who is a naturalized citizen, a green card holder for more than five years, or a refugee or asylee, you will qualify for the Flint Water Group or other Medicaid.
If you do not have eligible immigration status (including having a green card for less than five years, a work permit, a student visa, or no immigration documents at all), you only qualify for the emergency services Medicaid. However, if you meet the location and income criteria, you could qualify for Emergency Services Only Flint Water Group Medicaid even at a higher income level.
-M. Buhalis and R. Kraut