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Medicaid & Food Assistance Unwinding Posed To Impact Benefits

Michigan Medicaid
Medicaid & Food Assistance Unwinding Posed To Impact Benefits in March 2023

During the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), many changes were made to the Medicaid program's eligibility, administration, and policies to ease rules for providers and prevent Medicaid beneficiaries from losing health care coverage. The State of Michigan will soon restart Medicaid eligibility renewals and certain waived policies that were in place during the pandemic. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is preparing for these changes and will send notifications soon on what this means for beneficiaries. How to Prepare To Medicaid Unwinding: Be sure your address, phone number, and email address are up to date. The best way to update your information is online at Michigan.gov/MIBridges. You can also call your local MDHHS office. Visit the MDHHS County Office webpage to find your local office information. If you do not have an online account for MI Bridges to access your Medicaid case or report changes, visit www.michigan.gov/mibridges to sign up for a MI Bridges account. You can also locate organizations that can help you by searching for Community Partners.


If you already have a MI Bridges account, creating new accounts will limit the information you can see. We strongly suggest using the original account if you are the “Head of Household.” Remember, heads of household can see case information and report changes to case information. If you are not the head of household, you will only see resource information.


Report any changes to your household or income. You can report changes at Michigan.gov/MIBridges. Or, call your local MDHHS office. Visit the MDHHS County Office webpage to find your local office information.


If you get a renewal packet, be sure to fill it out, sign the forms, and return it by the due date with any proof needed. NOTE: If you do not complete and return the renewal, you may lose Medicaid coverage. If we complete a review and you no longer qualify, the team at MRW Solutions Group can assist you in qualifying to Healthcare.gov Marketolace Special Election Period. In addition, the Governmental Healthcare Subsidies could result in your monthly costs being No-Cost or Low Cost for you and/or your family. To set up an no-cost consultant to discuss options see the link below.


How To Prepare Food Assistance (EBT) Unwinding:

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government authorized extra food assistance to address food insecurity among residents. The extra benefits increased food assistance amounts to the maximum allowable per eligible group regardless of income level, or a minimum of $95 in extra benefits to groups already receiving the maximum amount.


These extra benefits will end in February 2023 due to recent federal legislation. You will receive your regular benefit amount beginning in March 2023.


What this means to groups receiving food assistance:


Your total food assistance benefits will be less as your regular food assistance benefit will no longer include the issuance of extra food assistance beginning March 2023.


Examples of how benefits will change:

Group Size[1]

If your Net Monthly Income[2] is:

Current Amount (includes extra COVID-19 benefit)

Regular Benefit Amount starting March 2023

1

$700

$281

$71

3

$1,400

$740

$320

4

$1,700

$939

$429


Disclaimer: These are only examples. Your regular benefits are based on your group’s situation. To see more examples of regular benefits based on group size and net monthly income, please visit Food Assistance Issuance Table.


The regular benefit amount will be based on normal eligibility factors including group size, income, and deductions (rent, mortgage, utilities, etc.). The amount of the decrease will vary based on each group’s circumstances.


It is important to remember that this change in your food assistance benefit amount is because the extra COVID-19 food assistance benefits are ending February 2023, not because of changes to your individual case. As this is a change in federal policy, this change is not subject to a hearing.


[1] Group size is the number of individuals who are on your food assistance case.


[2] Net Monthly Income is your gross (not take home) income minus your allowable deductions (rent, mortgage, utilities, childcare expenses etc.)


What should you do?


You should prepare and seek out any needed resources to accommodate this reduction to your benefits.


How to find your regular food assistance benefit amount:


You can find your regular benefit amount by logging into your MIBridges account at MIBridges.


You can also find your regular benefit amount by calling 1-844-464-3447 and following the prompts to check your benefits.


FIS ebtEDGE portal shows your regular benefit amount, see instructions below.


Regular food assistance benefits and the extra COVID-19 benefits are put on your EBT card at different times during the month.


Regular food assistance benefits are put on your card between the 3rd and the 21st of the month on the same date every month.


Extra COVID-19 benefits are put on your card between the 17th and the 29th of the month, but the date you receive them may change from month to month.


The food assistance benefits on your Bridge Card do not expire at the end of the month they are issued. The unused benefits are available for 274 days after issuance.


Author: Monica Ross-Williams, MBA; LIA

Monica’s vision for Insurance Management Consulting includes building long-term trust with our clients.


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