HEALTH SYSTEM NEWS

The Affordable Care Act

What coverage expansion means for U-M patients

issue 20 | winter 2014

This is the year when the rubber meets the road for the Affordable Care Act, as formerly uninsured patients get coverage from private plans and expanded Medicaid programs, and other provisions kick in for hospitals, physicians and insurers. Here's a brief summary of how the ACA intersects with the care the U-M Health System provides:

  • As of Feb. 1, we are participating in, and considered in-network for, 131 of the 169 new private insurance plans offered to individuals, families and small businesses in Michigan. Patients who have coverage under other plans may be able to access U-M advanced specialty care if their plan grants authorization in advance.
  • Our M-Support charity care program will continue to support previously enrolled patients until they can enroll in a Medicaid plan or a private plan. Going forward, patients seeking M-Support coverage must now apply to see if they are eligible for expanded Medicaid or for an affordable individual or family plan on the Marketplace. M-Support will now be limited to those who do not qualify for either.
  • Our Patient Financial Counselors are available to assist any patient or his or her loved ones with questions about ACA-related matters, and to assist in identifying and enrolling in plans. This service is free and open to anyone — not just U-M patients.
  • Patients who currently have coverage through a county-sponsored plan will likely continue to have that coverage until Michigan's expanded Medicaid coverage begins. Please encourage them to call our counselors for assistance.

As more patients gain access to care through expanded coverage, we are building our capacity to serve more patients. We especially look forward to providing advanced care to those who need it, on the advice of their own primary care providers.

Also In This Article:

Three recent U-M studies report on the effects of past coverage expansions.