Gov. Rick Snyder signed the Healthy Michigan bill today, improving the strength and health of the state with a stroke of the pen.
The legislation, House Bill 4714, eventually will extend Medicaid health coverage to 470,000 currently uninsured Michiganders, including 75,000 residents age 50 to 64. The measure likely will take effect in March or April of 2014.
“Today, we’re reaching out to nearly a half-million Michiganders with a message that help is there for them and their families to lead healthier, more productive lives,” Snyder said, during a bill signing ceremony at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn. He said the Medicaid expansion issue “is about family, not politics.”
Snyder was joined at the podium by many Medicaid expansion supporters, including U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, who praised Republicans and Democrats for coming together for the good of the state. “This is a great day and we will all look back and remember it,” he added.
Under the bill, state residents up to 133 percent of the poverty rate will be eligible for Medicaid coverage. That’s annual household income of about $31,300 for a family of four.
In the first year, about 320,000 Michiganders are expected to receive benefits, according to the Michigan Department of Public Health.
Michigan is the 25th state to adopt Medicaid expansion as part of the Affordable Care Act.
AARP Michigan, represented at the bill signing by State Director Jacqueline Morrison and others, supported passage of House Bill 4714.