By Natasha Robinson, MPCA Communications Specialist
Thousands of children have remained insured over the past year due to the efforts of several Michigan Health Centers.
Eight Michigan Health Centers assisted 1,296 children between April and September with applications to renew coverage in Healthy Kids or MIChild, free and low-cost state insurance programs. Every year, people who receive health coverage through the state need to fill out paperwork to update their information and re-determine eligibility. If they do not complete the paperwork or electronic renewal, coverage ends. More than 39,000 families were contacted with coverage renewal reminders from April to September.
Families of children enrolled in Healthy Kids or MIChild receive text messages and voice messages reminding them it is time to renew their coverage. They have the option of receiving assistance by phone or in person at their local Health Center. The efforts are part of a grant (CHIPRA Cycle 2) Michigan Primary Care Association received from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in August 2011 to improve coverage retention among children.
As the grant program enters its second year, an expanded group of Michigan Health Centers are in place to help with renewal paperwork. Family Health Center of Battle Creek, Muskegon Family Care, InterCare Community Health Network, Cherry Street Health Services, Family Health Center, Center for Family Health, Ingham Community Health Centers, Health Delivery Inc., Western Wayne Family Health Center, and Cassopolis Family Clinic all offer renewal assistance. Staff at each location is trained to assist with paper renewal forms and renewal through the Michigan Department of Human Services’ (DHS) MI Bridges website, which offers clients the ability to apply for and monitor their DHS public benefits.