A Guide to Michigan Medicaid - Healthy Michigan Plan

The Healthy Michigan Plan is a part of the state’s Medicaid program. It provides comprehensive coverage for low-income or disabled individuals with prescription medications, medical assistance, emergency services, and resources to improve their mental and physical health. It aims to educate residents and make much-needed resources more widely accessible.

Permanent residents of Michigan who meet broader Medicaid criteria may qualify for the Healthy Michigan Plan. Covered topics include how to apply for this and other plans, covered services, and eligibility requirements.

Finding affordable healthcare might seem daunting, but Medicaid in Michigan makes the process easier than many expect. In fact, as of July 2023 and according to medicaid.gov, 3,113,849 residents were enrolled in the plan. Plans like Healthy Michigan offer comprehensive benefits with a simple enrollment process. The following guide will take you through each step of enrollment, renewal, and card replacement.

You’ll also learn what the Healthy Michigan Plan and other Medicaid programs cover. To prevent shouldering the debt of unexpected medical expenses, many Michiganders extend their Medicaid coverage to include a more comprehensive range of benefits and services by way of private health insurance.

    What Is Michigan’s Medicaid?

    Medicaid in Michigan is a state branch of an expansive federal health program designed to ensure low-income individuals can access the necessary health resources. Without insurance or other avenues of financial assistance, many individuals struggle to afford healthcare services from qualified medical professionals.

    Medicaid in Michigan offers free or low-cost care options to such individuals. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services oversees the Healthy Michigan Plan and similar Medicaid programs. Common questions about Michigan’s Medicaid program include the following:

    • What is the Healthy Michigan Plan? The Healthy Michigan Plan offers comprehensive healthcare coverage for qualifying Michigan residents while educating enrollees about making healthier lifestyle choices.
    • What does Healthy Michigan Plan coverage include? The plan covers most medical necessities, such as oral, physical, and behavioral health services.
    • What other Michigan assistance programs can you access? Discover diverse resources like food and cash assistance or childcare through MI Bridges. You can also research programs like MIChild for kids and various plans for senior adults.
    • Is Medicaid in Michigan free? Monthly Medicaid coverage is either free or low in cost, depending on your annual or monthly income and where your household falls in relation to the federal poverty level. The Healthy Michigan Plan offers an overview of copay requirements that may help you determine individual service prices.

    Finally, you need to know about the Healthy Michigan Plan vs. Medicaid. How do they differ? Medicaid refers to a collection of government-funded healthcare plans, including but not limited to the Healthy Michigan Plan. Each plan covers a different demographic.

    What Is a Michigan Medicaid Card?

    Michigan Medicaid

    The mihealth card is the card you will receive when you are approved for medicaid in Michigan. When you receive your mihealth card in the mail, you'll notice a unique member number that links to your personal and coverage information. It will also include your name. You may present it at any pharmaceutical or healthcare location that accepts Medicaid. For more information on the mihealth card, refer to this site.

    Applying For Medicaid in Michigan

    Learning how to apply for the Healthy Michigan Plan and other Medicaid programs is quite simple:

    1. Find a plan that best suits your needs and qualifications. Some programs assist children, while others cover seniors. The Healthy Michigan Plan covers the largest demographic of low-income people.
    2. Explore third-party carriers and providers. These private insurance companies could help you access more affordable resources without the hassle.
    3. Collect the required documents, like photo identification, birth certificates, and proof of income. Have them ready for your application process.

    Choose from one of the three application methods: online, in person, or over the phone.

    To apply online, visit the MI Bridges web portal and create an account or log into an existing one. Input the information requested and scan any required documents as needed. You can request assistance from a helpline if needed.

    Visit the nearest Department of Health and Human Services to apply in person. Organize and secure all necessary documents in a folder to ensure a speedy, productive process. Call the Michigan Health Care Helpline at 1-855-789-5610 to apply by phone.

    Eligibility Requirements

    What requirements should a Healthy Michigan Plan member or other program enrollee meet? Some basic qualifications include:

    • People between 19 and 64 years of age
    • Household income at or below 133% of the FPL
    • An income limit of $18,000 a year per individual, $24,000 a year per couple, or $36,000 per household of four
    • Diagnosed disabilities no matter the applicant’s age
    • Pregnancy

    Carefully review your chosen plan’s eligibility outline to ensure you meet the minimum requirements.

    Getting a Medicaid Card in Michigan

    After completing the application process, you should receive an acceptance letter within 45 days of submitting it. However, the MDHHS can take up to 90 days to determine whether a disability qualifies for enrollment. The acceptance letter will contain your new Michigan Medicaid card with information about your plan and carrier.

    Renewing or Replacing Your Michigan Medicaid Card

    Under most circumstances, you must complete a renewal form annually to retain your Medicaid coverage. The MDHHS typically sends renewal documents to your physical address in paper form or via text with a link. Complete this form as soon as you receive it to prevent coverage gaps and other complications.

    What should you do if you lose your card? Call the Beneficiary Helpline at 1-800-642-3195, following the teleprompt menu options. Alternatively, you can sign into the MDHHS’s myHealthPortal to request a replacement card online.

    Medicaid Coverage in Michigan

    What does Medicaid in Michigan cover for beneficiaries? Medicaid will cover most medically necessary services. Medically necessary healthcare products and services are typically required to properly diagnose and treat a sickness, health condition, or injury. Learn more about coverage specifics below.


    Although some state Medicaid programs don’t prioritize oral health, Michigan’s Medicaid does. Oral health plays a key role in overall wellness. MDHHS extends dental services to children, adults, and seniors through its subsequent Medicaid programs. Included in Michigan Medicaid dental coverage are services such as:

    • Cleaning
    • Extraction
    • Fillings and crowns
    • Root canals
    • Exams and X-rays
    • Screenings
    • Sedation

    Michigan Medicaid programs offer dental coverage for more than just kids, teens, and young adults. If you’re 21 years old or older, you may be eligible to receive the following dental services through the program:

    • Dentures
    • Problem-focused procedures
    • Fluoride sealants
    • Additional extractions
    • Exams and X-rays
    • Restorations
    • Consultations

    For those who have more serious dental issues and anticipate requiring more visits to the dentists, investing in private dental plans in Michigan is advisable.

    Prescription Drugs

    Your Medicaid coverage will pay for most generic and name-brand prescriptions. You might pay a small fee, depending on your income level. Speak with your primary physician or the doctor prescribing the medications if you have questions or concerns about the coverage level or affordability. They may recommend a less expensive but similar medication or find an alternative route. Also, the drug must be listed on the Michigan Preferred Drug List (PDL) in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage.

    Extended Health Care

    Extended care services are often integral to a person’s quality of life. You might seek extended care options under the following circumstances:

    • You are recovering from a substance addiction.
    • You have a limiting disability and require assistance.
    • A household member has a limiting disability or condition and needs professional medical assistance.
    • You or a household member are recovering from a severe injury.

    Michigan’s Medicaid provides resources through the Healthy Michigan Plan that include but are not limited to hospice care, mental health services, and physical therapy. Many patients require additional care, but they go without because of financial concerns, lack of coverage, and restricted access. Investing in quality disability insurance is an excellent way to assist with some of the costs incurred with not being able to work either temporarily or permanently, and to help with the cost of medical needs outside of what the program covers.

    Travel and Out-Of-State Coverage

    Medicaid covers in-state travel for emergency rides or to doctor appointments. It may also assist with some out-of-state medical expenses for emergencies, according to the Medicaid & MIChild Fee-for-Service Handbook. However, you cannot use your Michigan Medicaid card outside state boundaries for non-emergency medical services. If you are traveling outside of Michigan for leisure, invest in proper travelers insurance.

    Seniors and Students

    Although the MDHHS doesn’t offer a plan specifically for college students, any permanent Michigan resident aged 19 or older who meets other eligibility requirements may apply for the Healthy Michigan Plan. However, Michigan college students must use this plan within state borders outside of emergency services. The Department of Insurance and Financial Services covers commonly asked questions about this topic.

    While the Healthy Michigan Plan coverage only applies to people under the age of 65, Medicare programs can assist senior adults beyond that age range. Your Medicaid coverage can work in tandem with Medicare coverage for benefits, including:

    • Hospice care
    • Home health care
    • Nursing home care
    • Prescriptions
    • Other healthcare treatments people may need as they age

    PACE and similar programs can help senior adults remain in their homes while maintaining independence. Explore the criteria to learn whether you meet the requirements for Medicare and Medicaid programs for seniors.

    Coverage for Subgroups

    Michigan’s Medicaid coverage goes beyond children, adults, seniors, and people with disabilities. You can also receive specific coverage if you fall into one of the categories listed below.

    Native Americans

    Native American residents who can verify their tribal affiliations or membership may apply for and receive benefits from Medicaid programs and CHIP. This demographic is not required to make Healthy Michigan Plan payments or pay copayments or deductibles. Learn more about coverage for American Indians and tribe verification.


    Veterans can also apply for Medicaid in Michigan. You may still qualify for the Healthy Michigan Plan if you have VA coverage. However, your VA coverage will supply primary coverage over your chosen Medicaid program.

    This means that the VA will cover most of your healthcare bills. Once it reaches its limit, your Medicaid plan will cover any remaining costs.

    What Medicaid in Michigan Does Not Cover

    Now that you know more about who the Healthy Michigan Plan and other Medicaid programs cover, find out more about its limitations. Your plan may not cover certain treatments, services, and equipment. Those items typically fall under the following categories:

    Disposable products
    Elective procedures
    Private or out-of-state facilities and services
    Cosmetic procedures
    Complications caused by elective or cosmetic procedures

    Enrollees must purchase disposable items such as diapers and bandages out of pocket. Michigan’s Medicaid program does not cover these extra expenses.

    Elective procedures are typically unnecessary to benefit the individual’s health. However, the state may deem some joint replacements medically unnecessary. Therefore, you will need third-party insurance to assist with such treatments.

    If you need to travel to a different state to obtain treatment, you must pay out of pocket or have a private provider cover the expenses. The same applies to services provided by private institutions vs. state-funded ones.

    Medicaid programs do not cover facelifts and other cosmetic surgeries. The state deems these procedures medically unnecessary.

    If you undergo any medically unnecessary procedure that results in medical complications, your Medicaid plan won’t fund your treatment.

    The State of Michigan offers very little assistance towards the cost of funerals. Considering the rising cost of burial and related fees, ensure that your family is secured with comprehensive funeral insurance.

    You can review the details with your primary physician or call the helpline for more information. Remember that coverage often changes by the year. Stay updated about any changes to the Healthy Michigan Plan and other applicable programs.

    Common Procedures and Michigan’s Medicaid Eligibility

    Many state Medicaid plans have limitations on the services they pay for. Medicaid in Michigan is no different. The following lists identify the services that MIChild, the Healthy Michigan Plan, and various Medicaid and Medicare programs for seniors. Service allowance may vary based on your Medicaid program.

    Find out which healthcare services your plan may cover below.

    Full and partial dentures If you have lost teeth, you may qualify for a set of dentures to complete your smile and help you enjoy more foods.
    Routine dental cleanings and checkups Everyone needs a dental checkup from time to time. The Healthy Michigan Plan and other programs ensure they can.
    Extractions and fillings Sometimes, teeth develop decayed areas that can become infected. A dentist will treat these issues at little to no cost to you.
    Space maintainers Yes
    Root planing periodontal scaling Yes
    X-rays Tooth anatomy consists of roots beneath the gum line. Your dentist might need to check on this area.
    If you require services such as implants, you must find other ways to pay for them.
    Glaucoma screenings and diagnosis Around three million Americans suffer from glaucoma. Michigan residents can help reduce the number through glaucoma diagnosis and treatment.
    Routine eye exams Let a specialist check your eyes to ensure you can still see well!
    One pair of eyeglasses If you learn your eyesight has become poorer during an exam, you may receive a prescription for a pair of glasses to help your vision.
    Replacement eyeglasses (if you meet certain qualifications) If you learn your eyesight has become poorer during an exam, you may receive a prescription for a pair of glasses to help your vision.
    Medicaid only covers contact lenses on a case-by-case basis.
    Your plan will pay for any medically necessary surgical procedures and related services, such as:
    Hospital stays Invasive surgeries are often inpatient procedures. Your Medicaid plan should cover most or all expenses.
    Surgical centers If you need surgery, you shouldn’t stress about the cost. The Healthy Michigan Plan and other programs can help pay for it.
    Some drugs needed to facilitate the surgery safely Your Medicaid plan may cover costs for drugs prescribed before, during, or after the surgery.
    Your Healthy Michigan plan covers hospital stays, including inpatient and outpatient services. It also covers:
    Ambulance rides No one plans for or expects an emergency. Medicaid in Michigan can assist with the transportation costs.
    Transportation to and from appointments MDHHS supplies transportation to regular appointments for all cardholders.
    Medical supplies and equipment Most hospital visits require equipment. Medicaid covers the cost.
    Therapy and Counselling

    If you struggle with substance abuse or mental health disorders, you can access various behavioral health resources, including:

    • Substance abuse treatment: You might have fallen into bad habits with unhealthy substances. Start your support system with your Medicaid plan.
    • Care from state-funded psychiatric hospitals: If you or a loved one have a mental condition that requires a long-term readjustment, you’ll find affordable or free treatment at a state-funded facility with trained professionals.
    • Mental health support and counseling services: Mental health struggles should not be a source of shame. Seek support and assistance with various behavioral and mental health resources.
    Sexual Health
    As a Medicaid card holder, you have access to various services designed to educate you and protect your sexual health, such as:
    Pregnancy tests Sometimes, you need a second opinion beyond a store-bought pregnancy test. The Healthy Michigan Plan will confirm your pregnancy with professional tests.
    Birth control education, prescriptions, and products Ready to learn more about protecting yourself and your partner? Michigan’s Medicaid resources will show you the way!
    Testing and diagnosing sexually transmitted infections Proactively protect your body with prompt STI tests and treatment.
    Prescriptions to combat STIs STI prescriptions can be expensive. Medicaid assistance makes them accessible.
    HIV/AIDs testing and treatment The prospect of contracting HIV scares most people. You can manage and treat your diagnosis responsibly with the help of state resources.
    General family planning assistance Find the personalized care you deserve during pregnancy and after birth.
    Specialist Services
    Michigan’s Medicaid programs cover your appointments with and treatments prescribed by various specialists. You may seek services from the following providers within the state network:
    Podiatrists Your feet help you move, work, and participate in life. Podiatrists specialize in keeping the healthy and treating any injuries.
    Chiropractors Injuries or chronic conditions can cause intense back or neck pain. Some chiropractors who accept Medicaid will treat those issues.
    Surgeons Surgeons have the skills and education to conduct routine surgeries safely. Although surgeries can be expensive, the Healthy Michigan Plan and similar programs greatly reduce the costs.
    Physical and occupational therapists Some injuries or major health events may limit your mobility. Michigan’s network of physical and occupational therapists can get you moving again.
    Audiologists People of all ages can access audiologist appointments and receive hearing aids. You’ll qualify for a new pair every five years.
    Optometrists Optometrists specialize in eye care and can prescribe glasses and treatments for conditions like glaucoma.
    Specialist access goes beyond these professionals. Explore the specialists identified within your nearby medical network.

    Extending Your Michigan Medicaid Coverage

    Although Medicaid in Michigan makes healthcare more accessible and affordable for over one million Michigan residents, many individuals still struggle to work around the program’s strictures to access the personalized care they need. Since Medicaid coverage can change without warning, supplementary coverage gives you peace of mind about your family’s well-being. It eliminates concerns about access and treatment variety from the equation.

    That’s where Insurdinary comes in. You can use private insurance providers to fill the gaps in your Michigan Medicaid plan and get the coverage you need. Other types of private insurance, such as life insurance, can help pay for medical costs Medicaid will not cover, especially in the event of your passing. We help Michigan residents navigate the insurance marketplace to find affordable, customized coverage that works with their Medicaid plans. Third-party or privacy insurance policies empower you to diversify your health management options.

    A private or third-party provider can offer the following:

    • The ability to travel if necessary: If you live near your state’s border, you might find it easier to travel to doctors across the border under certain circumstances. With Medicaid as your only insurance option, you still must travel to an in-state facility.
    • Access to private facilities and services: If a facility conveniently offers a treatment you need, it can’t serve you unless it takes Medicaid. You can unlock treatments to private facilities with more specialized care under supplemental insurance policies.
    • More network options: In some areas, Medicaid only works with a limited number of facilities. Private or third-party providers can broaden your options.
    • No service caps or allowances: Many state Medicaid programs, like the Healthy Michigan Plan, only allow beneficiaries to attend a certain amount of monthly appointments. Even if you desperately need that extra dental appointment, you could pay out of pocket and in full.
    • Treatments you need but may qualify as medically unnecessary: The term “medically unnecessary” may not fit all treatments. For example, some states label joint replacements as medically unnecessary. However, a joint replacement can protect your overall health and mobility for years.
    • More personalized care: Although government healthcare programs have become more flexible, they may fail to deliver the necessary attention to detail and treatment variety. You deserve quality care and individualized service based on your needs.

    Craft a healthcare plan that serves your family best. Take your health into your own hands. Compare quotes from numerous insurance companies ready and willing to work with your budget, lifestyle, and Medicaid in Michigan.


    How long does it take to get approved for Michigan Medicaid?

    The approval timeline for Michigan Medicaid can vary based on individual circumstances. On average, the process takes around 45 days. Urgent cases can be expedited for quicker processing.

    What are the methods to apply for Michigan Medicaid?

    You can apply for Michigan Medicaid through various avenues: online, in person, by mail, or at a local Department of Health and Human Services office. Ensure you provide necessary documents like proof of income, household size, and residency when submitting your application.

    Does Michigan Medicaid cover the expenses of funerals?

    No, Michigan Medicaid primarily provides healthcare coverage and does not include benefits for funeral expenses. If you're seeking assistance with funeral costs, you might want to explore options like funeral insurance.

    Who is eligible for Michigan Medicaid?

    Eligibility for Michigan Medicaid is determined by factors such as income, household composition, and other considerations. Typically, the program extends coverage to low-income individuals, families, pregnant women, children, elderly individuals, and those with disabilities.

    What is Michigan Medicaid?

    Michigan Medicaid is a program designed to offer medical coverage to eligible low-income residents of the state. Funded jointly by federal and state resources, its aim is to ensure access to essential healthcare services for those who qualify.

    What other types of insurance does Insurdinary offer?

    Insurdinary, and its network of partners offer many different types of insurance. In addition to health, dental, disability, life, funeral and travel insurance as discussed on this page, you may also be interested to explore the following:


    1. https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/assistance-programs/medicaid/portalhome/beneficiaries/programs/medicaid
    2. https://newmibridges.michigan.gov/s/isd-landing-page?language=en_US
    3. https://www.michigan.gov/healthymiplan/-/media/Project/Websites/mdhhs/Folder2/Folder89/Folder1/Folder189/Healthy_Michigan_Copayment-final.pdf?rev=b6892e516b354fa1aa77a1d803d57272&hash=892932847379BA081CE4C244599FB1FF
    4. https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/assistance-programs/medicaid/portalhome/beneficiaries/programs
    5. https://newmibridges.michigan.gov/s/isd-external-afb-screen?language=en_US
    6. https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/assistance-programs/medicaid/the-mihealth-card
    7. https://www.michigan.gov/-/media/Project/Websites/mdhhs/Folder1/Folder69/MDCH-Pub_669_Medicaid_Fee_for_Svc.pdf?rev=cc1eafcadf86492bb5d64c7162c2c4c4
    8. https://www.michigan.gov/difs/news-and-outreach/faq/aca/student-health-faq/student-health
    9. https://www.legislature.mi.gov/Publications/ServicesforSeniors.pdf
    10. https://www.healthcare.gov/american-indians-alaska-natives/medicaid-chip/
    11. https://www.michigan.gov/-/media/Project/Websites/mdhhs/Folder1/Folder83/HMP_BH_FAQ_-_Final.pdf?rev=335fe77f6bcc4603afdf1c7014ba9a6
    12. https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/assistance-programs/healthcare/healthymichigan
    13. https://www.michigan.gov/-/media/Project/Websites/mdhhs/Folder2/Folder77/Folder1/Folder177/Healthy_Michigan_Handbook_Final.pdf?rev=8c74c5f178dc40f1aa83891893ca528d
    14. https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/resources/features/glaucoma-awareness.html
    15. https://www.michigan.gov/-/media/Project/Websites/mdhhs/Folder1/Folder51/MSA_18-24.pdf?rev=0fa0d0730cf64fe7948c083253e38390
    16. https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/assistance-programs/healthcare/healthymichigan
    17. https://www.insurdinarycom.insurdinary.ca/insurance/
    18. https://www.insurdinary.ca/get-the-quote/
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