secondary insurance

Greatest Hits! Our Top 5 Posts of All Time

Here's a look back--our top 5 blog posts of all time are worth a first look, and a second look too!


1. The most sought-after blog post, getting twice as many hits as any other blog post, was the very first blog post that staff member Tonya South Peterson wrote for us! It has resources for how to get eyeglasses if you have Medicaid. With Medicaid, eyeglasses are a covered benefit!

Need Eyeglasses? Medicaid Has You Covered

What's more, this blog post is also available in Spanish.

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2. The #2 blog post is about how to use Medicaid as secondary insurance. This post has more comments than any other blog post, perhaps because not much has been written for the general public about Medicaid as secondary insurance and it can be a bit complicated. (But not super complicated--it's not too different from having insurance from two employers.)

Good News: Medicaid Can Be Secondary Insurance

Find this blog post in Spanish as well. 

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3. The #3 blog post describes how to find a DHHS caseworker's email and/or phone number. In the coming year, DHHS is planning on moving to a "universal caseworker" system, and most people may not have caseworkers in the traditional sense. But whatever happens, we will keep you posted, and update this post as needed.

How To Find A DHHS Caseworker's Email Address (And Phone Number)

Read this in Spanish.


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4. The #4 post was the #1 post in 2016! Trying to figure out which Medicaid health plans to choose can be tricky.  In 2018 there will be some changes, particularly to the dental plan choices of the Medicaid health plans--but we will keep you updated as those changes get closer.

Choosing A Medicaid Health Plan (Updated)

This post is also in Spanish.



5. Last but not least--the #5 blog post is a must read for people who have small businesses or do contract/consulting work. It's better to start early, tracking your income and expenses, than to start late. If the information is basically the same as last year's, you can use your taxes, but if you are just starting a new business, this may be what you need.

Help! How Do I Report Self-Employment Income For Medicaid Or The Marketplace?

Read this in Spanish.


Are you curious about what our top posts were in 2016?

There is some overlap. Read the Top Posts of 2016 here.

Want to see all of our Spanish posts? We have a page that holds all of our Spanish posts.

Do you have questions or ideas for other blog posts? Let us know in the comments.

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Buenas Noticias: Medicaid Puede Ser Su Seguro Secundario

Una Tarjeta de Identificación de Medicaid

Una Tarjeta de Identificación de Medicaid

NOTA: La información en esta publicación es verdadera para el estado de Michigan. Las reglas de Medicaid varían de estado a estado.

Hay muchas cosas buenas acerca de Medicaid - tiene cobertura médica, de visión y dental; copagos bajos; puede solicitarlo en cualquier momento; y usted puede utilizarlo como un seguro secundario.


Imagínese que tiene un plan de seguro de empleador, pero tiene un deducible alto, y tiene que pagar de su bolsillo por sus primeros $ 3,000 antes de que el seguro pague cualquier cosa. Si usted es elegible para Medicaid, Medicaid será el segundo seguro (lo que significa que su seguro de empleador se factura primero), y Medicaid recogerá lo que el seguro del empleador no cubre.

Medicaid como un seguro secundario puede reducir significativamente sus facturas!


Hay algunos otros beneficios, también. Por ejemplo, usted puede tener una buena cobertura médica, pero sin cobertura de visión o dental. Como seguro secundario, Medicaid puede pagar beneficios de visión y dental.

Nota: Medicaid no puede ser un seguro secundario para los planes de Marketplace. Si usted es elegible para Medicaid, no puede obtener cobertura de Marketplace subvencionada. Pero si usted tiene cobertura de empleador, a veces Medicaid como un seguro secundario puede ser muy útil.

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Helping Children With Special Healthcare Needs

Children’s Special Health Care Services is a state-wide program that serves children with chronic health problems and their families. The program can save families money and at the same time make sure that sick kids get what they need! The program's aim is to provide patients and caregivers with the knowledge and resources to receive the best quality care for their individual needs. In Washtenaw County we currently have about 940 children enrolled!

How Does it Work?

The program works as secondary insurance to help cover the cost of the child’s diagnosis. Which means the family’s primary insurance – such as employer insurance or Medicaid – pays first and then CSHCS picks-up the co-pays, deductible, and out-of-pocket costs related to the qualifying diagnosis.

Here is an example:

Max is enrolled is CSHCS because he has Type 1 Diabetes. One day, he loses consciousness during gym class. His school calls an ambulance. The paramedic finds that his blood sugar was too low. CSHCS will cover the cost of the ambulance ride, the ER visit, any medicine prescribed or tests run, and hospital admission if necessary. The out of pocket medical expense for Max's family is $0

But even during a good month where Max doesn't have to go to the hospital or to see a doctor, he still needs medication and supplies to help manage his Type 1 Diabetes. Look at the charts below to see how CSHCS helps Max's family cover those costs. 

Max has type 1 diabetes, he is covered by his mom's employeers insurance who pays 80% of medical costs after a $4000 deductible.png

It's important to note that CSHCS doesn't help cover all medical costs, only the costs related to the child's qualifying diagnosis. The program will not pay for visits to the primary care physician or any other unrelated medical costs. 

Who Can Enroll?

CSHCS covers children from birth to age 21 with one or more of the qualifying diagnoses. These diagnoses are any of 2,700 physical conditions like severe Asthma, Type 1 Diabetes, Cerebral Palsy, and different types of cancer. Click here for a list of these diagnoses.

A lot of times, if a child is diagnosed with one of the diseases on the list, a nurse or social worker will recommend the child for the program and a designated pediatrician decides whether or not the child is approved. But sometimes, the program receives calls from parents who believe their child is a good fit for the program and then our public health nurses will investigate those cases further. The program may even help pay for the costs of diagnostic tests if needed.

Is CSHCS Only For Low-Income Families?

A lot of families don't know that they can enroll in CSHCS even if they have private or employer insurance! CSHCS is based on the child’s diagnosis, not income. So anyone with a child who has one or more of the qualifying diagnoses can enroll. There is a sliding annual fee which is based on the family’s income, but in certain cases--for foster children or kids already on Medicaid--the fee can be waived. For almost all current enrollees, the annually fee is significantly less than what the cost of healthcare would be without CSHCS.

More Information

For more information you can visit the Children's Special Health Care Services website

If you live in Washtenaw County you can contact one of our RNs with questions:

  • Last names starting with A through J: Colleen Warner at 734-544-3080 or by email at
  • Last names starting with K through Z: Muhammad Saifudin at 734-544-9750 or by email at

If you are a service provider or community partner, please contact our program supervisor, Christina Katka at 734-544-2984 or

If you live outside of Washtenaw County you can find contacts here.

--K. Okarski

Editor's Note: This blog post was written by Kayla Okarski, a Washtenaw County Public Health and Washtenaw Health Plan summer intern who is a senior at Grand Valley State University. Thanks Kayla for all of your work!

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Good News: Medicaid Can Be Secondary Insurance

A Medicaid ID Card

A Medicaid ID Card

NOTE: The information in this post is true for the state of Michigan. Medicaid rules vary from state to state.

There are lots of great things about Medicaid--it has medical, vision, and dental coverage; low copays; you can apply for it at any time; and you can use it as a secondary insurance.

What does this mean?

Imagine that you have an employer insurance plan, but it has a high deductible, and you have to pay out of pocket for your first $3,000 before the insurance will pay anything. If you are Medicaid eligible, Medicaid will be the second insurance (that means that your employer insurance gets billed first), and Medicaid will pick up what the employer insurance doesn't cover.

Medicaid as a secondary insurance can significantly reduce your bills!


Other Benefits

There are some other benefits, too. For instance, you may have good medical coverage, but no vision or dental coverage. As secondary insurance, Medicaid can pay vision and dental benefits.

Just note: Medicaid cannot be secondary insurance for any Marketplace plans. If you are eligible for Medicaid, you cannot get subsidized Marketplace coverage. But if you have employer coverage, sometimes Medicaid as a secondary insurance can be very useful.

--R. Kraut


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