Whitmer Celebrates Highest Percentage of Insured Americans in History
Michigan will receive $4 million to hire health insurance navigators to boost state’s insured rates further
LANSING, Mich. (STL.News) Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) Director Anita Fox announced a $4 million federal grant that will expand access to qualified health insurance Navigators and help more people find health insurance. These grants, along with extended tax subsidies called for by Governor Whitmer and other actions taken by state and federal partners, will help further reduce the national uninsured rate which hit an all-time record low of just 8% in 2022.
“Every Michigander deserves access to high-quality, affordable health care,” said Governor Whitmer. “As a state legislator, I worked across the aisle to pass the Healthy Michigan Plan into law, which currently covers more than one million Michiganders. When paired with the recent extension of health care subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act, this investment will expand access to quality, affordable health care. Right now, the national uninsured rate is at an all-time low of just 8% thanks to the work we’ve done already, and we can continue to work together to keep driving it down so everyone has care that meets their needs.”
“Open enrollment for 2023 starts on November 1, and you can find free, local enrollment help by logging on to LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov or by calling 800-318-2596,” said Director Fox. “Navigators will help you enroll in a 2023 Marketplace plan or, if you qualify, will help you access Medicaid, Michigan’s MIChild program, or other government assistance programs. If you need health insurance for the remainder of 2022, Navigators will work with you now to investigate your options and help you get access to the coverage you need for yourself and your family.”
In Michigan, and around the country, Health Insurance Navigators offer free local help to families and individuals so that they can access health coverage options through the Marketplace or through government assistance programs, such as Medicaid or the MIChild program. Navigators operate year-round to increase awareness and help consumers access the tools and resources they need to use and maintain their health coverage. Navigators must complete comprehensive federal Navigator training and criminal background checks prior to assisting consumers.
As part of the nationwide Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Navigator cooperative agreement, first established in 2021, more than $98 million will be granted this year to 59 Navigator organizations across the country. The awardees include community and consumer-focused non-profits, faith-based organizations, hospitals, trade and professional associations, and tribes or tribal organizations. In Michigan, the following parent organizations are set to receive grants:
- Arab Community Center for Economic & Social Services (ACCESS)
- Eastern Michigan University
- Genesee Health Plan Corporation
In total, $4,059,254 has been awarded in Michigan this year, an increase of approximately $750,000 over the grants received in 2021. A variety of subrecipients, representing many different Michigan groups and community relationships, are represented by the parent organizations listed above. Additional information about the groups that have been awarded is available.
Open enrollment for 2023 health insurance will run from November 1 through January 15, 2023. In addition, those who still need coverage for 2022 may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, enabling them to purchase insurance outside of Open Enrollment. Michiganders can get more information by visiting the Health Insurance Marketplace or by calling 800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). During 2023 Open Enrollment, consumers will be able to choose from 233 health plans on the Marketplace, 59 more than last year. For the overall individual market, which includes off-Marketplace plans, 308 plans will be available, 52 more than last year.
For information about health insurance, visit Michigan.gov/HealthInsurance or contact DIFS at 877-999-6442, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Governor Whitmer’s Actions to Lower the Cost of Prescription Drugs & Expand Health Care
Governor Whitmer has signed bipartisan legislation to protect Michiganders against surprise medical billing, lower the cost of prescription drugs by increasing pharmacy oversight, and foster more competitive health care pricing by increasing transparency. She worked across the aisle to extend Healthy Michigan to over 1 million Michiganders, expand access to telemedicine, and improve dental care for Michiganders covered by Medicaid.
- October 14, 2020: Governor Whitmer called on federal leaders to extend the Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period, which would have given Michiganders more time to obtain vitally important health insurance.
- October 19, 2020: Governor Whitmer announced a $1 million investment to help reach more than one million Michiganders and provide additional support to those who may have lost health insurance in 2020 get covered.
- March 16, 2021: Governor Whitmer announced support for the American Rescue Plan which, among other important provisions, made health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace more affordable and more accessible for Michiganders.
- July 29, 2021: Governor Whitmer announced support for a proposed rule change to permanently extend the annual Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period. The rule change was adopted and Michiganders now have an additional month to sign up for a plan each year.
- August 31, 2021: Governor Whitmer worked with federal leaders to secure $3.3 million to expand access to qualified local health insurance navigators to help more Michiganders enroll in health insurance.
- March 23, 2022: Governor Whitmer signed Senate Bills 246 and 435 to increase loan forgiveness for health professionals who work in medically underserved communities, helping more people find high quality health care in all areas of the state.
- June 27, 2022: Governor Whitmer signed Senate Bill 447, a bipartisan bill that will foster more competitive health care pricing by increasing transparency surrounding costs and coverage.
- June 29, 2022: Governor Whitmer called on every major health insurance company in Michigan, urging them to take steps to ensure Michigan women have coverage for reproductive health care to the fullest extent possible under current coverage.
- June 29, 2022: Governor Whitmer joined thirteen other state governors to call on the federal government to extend the American Rescue Plan’s enhanced premium subsidies. Failure to extend these beyond 2022 could have raised health insurance rates for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders.
- August 18, 2022: Governor Whitmer directed Michigan’s health insurance companies to reduce health rates for 2023 as a result of the extension of the enhanced premium subsidies first put into place by the American Rescue Plan.
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