Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has asked that Medicaid benefits be expanded to include Flint residents up to 21 years old and pregnant women who have been receiving water from the city’s troubled system.
Sunday, Snyder sent a formal request to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services seeking a waiver that could make new services available to 15,000 additional Flint residents.
“Children, teens and young adults exposed t lead need more coverage to get testing and the treatment they need,” Snyder said in a press release. “Expanding these services and lead abatement efforts will mitigate the risks of lead exposure and result in better identifying any long-term health challenges, including behavioral issues.”
An expansion of the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program services would allow case managers in Flint to:
■Link physicians, behavioral health providers and Medicaid health plans together to provide better access to service for residents.
■Bolster efforts at improving nutrition.
■Improve access to “educational and social supports” available in the community.
According to a release from Snyder’s office, the expanded coverage would go to those up to the age of of 21 who “are being served or who were served by Flint’s water system between April 2014 and a future date when the water system is deemed safe. Pregnant women and their future children will also be made eligible.”
All incomes will be covered by the program, but individuals with an annual income of $47,520, or households of four with an income of $97,200, will have the option of buying into the program.