Healthy Michigan program expands health care options

IRON?MOUNTAIN?- The state of Michigan responded to the Affordable Care Act with the launch of the Healthy Michigan Plan in April of this year.

Locally, the availability of the new state sponsored health insurance has been very positive according to state employee Gwen Gibson, whose job it is to connect Michigan residents with health care benefits.

Gibson works with individuals who have received, or will be receiving, health care services through Dickinson County Healthcare System. Her office is located within Dickinson Memorial Hospital, and she can be reached at (906) 776-5326.

“April was a very busy month with the launch of this new health plan,” commented Gibson. “It is important to remind the public that the Healthy Michigan Plan exists and has less stringent qualification guidelines than Medicaid. If people found that they did not qualify for Michigan Medicaid, they should not assume they will not qualify for this new plan. It pays to compare their current situation to the criteria outlined in the Healthy Michigan Plan just to be sure.”

The Healthy Michigan Plan provides health care coverage for individuals who meet the following criteria:

– Are 19-64 years of age.

– Have income at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level – $16,000 for a single person or $33,000 for a family of four.

– Do not qualify for or are not enrolled in Medicare.

– Do not qualify for or are not enrolled in other Medicaid programs.

– Are not pregnant at the time of application.

– Are residents of Michigan.

Unlike Medicaid enrollment, there are no asset tests involved. Applicants are allowed to have savings accounts and investments.

The Healthy Michigan Plan helps individuals and families pay for doctor visits, prescriptions, and hospital services. Additional coverage is provided for dental, vision, and hearing as well as mental health and substance abuse treatment services

Enrolling in the new Healthy Michigan Plan has also been simplified. Individuals need to have a record of their earnings for the past 30 days as well as information from their income tax preparation from the prior year. Application can be made on-line at

Application can also be made by calling 1-855-789-5610, a toll free number, or by stopping by the local Department of Human Services office in person.