Traverse City Record-Eagle

Latest News - Mobile

September 11, 2013

Medicaid expansion to help many area residents

TRAVERSE CITY — Amy Bauer works as a full-time waitress, but insurance isn’t part of her compensation package.

Bauer wasn’t immediately aware that Michigan lawmakers just passed expansion of Medicaid insurance, but definitely is interested in signing up.

“If I could qualify, you betcha,” said Bauer as she shopped for clothes at Goodwill Industries retail store. “That would be helpful. My husband doesn’t have insurance either, but our kids do. When you get sick, you just hope it will pass because you don’t want to pay money.”

Medicaid already covers one in five Michigan residents, mainly low-income children, pregnant women, and the disabled. But poor working adults rarely qualify. The program, to take effect in April, will assist nearly 500,000 state residents who earn 133 percent of the federal poverty guidelines or less — a family of four, for example, making up to $31,322.

A total of 10,314 additional folks in Antrim, Benzie, Leelanau, Kalkaska, and Grand Traverse counties would be eligible for Medicaid under the expansion, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health.

The move received a thumbs-up from other Goodwill shoppers.

“I think it’s good,” said Sally Troyer of Traverse City. “I’m real sad right now about people whose hours were cut less than 30 hours so employers won’t have to pay insurance. The people are barely making money as it is.”

Troyer was referring to the Affordable Care Act’s upcoming mandate to provide health insurance to those who work 30 hours or more.

Lawmakers from northern Michigan gave a mixed vote. State Sen. Howard Walker’s vote was pivotal in the final 20-18 Senate tally. State Rep. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City Republican, also voted yes.

“This way, we make sure people have access to affordable healthcare that doesn’t make use of expensive fixes, such as the emergency room,” Schmidt said.

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair