Michigan launches expanded Medicaid plan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan launched an expanded Medicaid plan Tuesday that could provide health insurance for hundreds of thousands more low-income adults.

The state started enrollment Tuesday for Healthy Michigan, which extends Medicaid eligibility to adults making up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. That's about $16,000 for an individual or $33,000 for a family of four.

Enrollment was going smoothly by midday Tuesday, with people applying at state offices and accessing the website without issues, according to the Department of Community Health.

Gov. Rick Snyder has said he expects 320,000 residents to sign up in the first 12 months. The number could grow as high as 470,000 over time, he said.

Snyder fought last year to persuade fellow Republicans in the Legislature to agree to the Medicaid expansion under President Barack Obama's health care law. Twenty-six states and Washington, D.C. are expanding Medicaid this year.

Coverage under the new plan includes federally and state mandated benefits such as emergency services, hospitalization, prescription drugs and mental health and substance abuse services. Eligible Michigan residents can apply at HealthyMichiganPlan.org, by phone at (855) 789-5610 or at a DHS office.

Snyder said Michigan is "well positioned" for Tuesday's launch because his administration has tested the computer systems and has a plan in place to get the word out.

"I in fact signed up as one of the testers. I thought it was important that I actually see what that experience is like, so I went and signed my family up hypothetically," Snyder told reporters Friday. "And it was an experience that I think is doable by people and hopefully can be something that works out well."

The Department of Human Services and DCH directors officially opened enrollment with an event Tuesday at the DHS Conner Service Center in Detroit.

The state's enrollment campaign includes television, radio, online, transit and print marketing.