DIFS Taking Action to Help Michigan Seniors Who May Lose Medicaid Coverage Due to Recent Federal Legislation
MI | Nationwide, Medicaid beneficiaries will have to renew their coverage starting this year to comply with federal legislation, which may result in thousands of people losing coverage. To help Michigan seniors who may lose their Medicaid coverage, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is outlining Medicare enrollment opportunities. In addition to special enrollment periods on the federal level, DIFS has also issued an order enabling eligible Michiganders to purchase a Medicare Supplement policy regardless of their health status, age, or gender.
“DIFS remains committed to using every tool at our disposal to help Michiganders stay covered as the State resumes Medicaid renewals over the next year,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Coupled with a special enrollment period for traditional Medicare, the new DIFS order will help make sure that eligible seniors will have the coverage options they need without having to pay more just because of their medical history or the timing of their enrollment in Medicare.”
Medicaid beneficiaries are normally removed from the program once they are no longer eligible. However, during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), the State was required to continue health care coverage for all beneficiaries regardless of their eligibility. This included seniors who would normally have automatically transitioned from Medicaid to Medicare once they reached the age of 65.
As Medicaid renewals resume over the next year, Medicaid beneficiaries who turned 65 during the PHE now have increased opportunities to enroll in Medicare once their Medicaid coverage ends, including:
- Medicare Part A and Part B: Eligible seniors who lose their Medicaid coverage can enroll in Parts A and B up to six months after their Medicaid coverage ends by visiting the Social Security Administration website or by calling 800-772-1213 (TTY: 800-325-0778).
- Medicare Advantage Plans (also known as Part C): Open enrollment for a Medicare Advantage plan typically runs January 1 through March 31 each year, but newly enrolled Medicare beneficiaries can sign up for a plan within three months after the start date of their Medicare coverage. More information about shopping for a Medicare Advantage plan is available on Medicare.gov.
- Medicare Supplement plans (also known as Medigap plans): Medicaid beneficiaries who turned 65 during the PHE may have missed their six-month window to purchase a Medicare Supplement plan without paying more because of their health status, age, or gender. A new DIFS order creates a new Medicare Supplement open enrollment window during which insurers must offer Medicare Supplement policies to eligible applicants on a guaranteed-issue basis if the applicant meets certain criteria. To shop for a Supplement plan, visit Medicare.gov.
For more information about Medicaid eligibility redeterminations, visit Michigan.gov/2023BenefitChanges. For information about staying covered after your Medicaid eligibility ends, visit Michigan.gov/StayCovered or call DIFS at 877-999-6442, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Michigan Medicare Assistance Program counselors also are available to provide free help with Medicare enrollment. For more information visit MMAPInc.org or call 1-800-803-7174 to speak with a counselor.
The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.