Medicaid numbers way up amid pandemic

More Michiganders than ever before have enrolled in the state's expanded Medicaid program.

A program to provide healthcare coverage to the state’s poorest residents has wound up being a life saver for thousands during the pandemic and resulting economic downturn.

Newly released numbers show that more than 118,000 people have signed up for Michigan’s expanded Medicaid program since the beginning of the pandemic in March. As of Tuesday 800,794 people are enrolled in the Healthy Michigan Plan.

The Healthy Michigan Plan was enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act in 2014. State officials anticipated increased interest in the program in the early days of the pandemic as unemployment numbers rose.

Congress approved additional funding for state Medicaid programs in March, and Governor Gretchen Whitmer froze premiums included in the plan for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

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