Tuesday, April 25th, 2023DHHS Subcommittee Budget Presentations
SOS Reports Record Youth Turnout in 2022
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson shared in a press release that Michigan had the highest youth turnout rate in the 2022 Midterm Elections.
According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University (CIRCLE), the Michigan youth voter turnout for the 2022 midterm election was higher than any other state in the nation.
Circle estimated that the national average of eligible young Americans (ages 18-29) who cast a ballot in the 2022 midterm elections was 23%. In Michigan, young people turned out at a rate of 37%.
Four states saw improvement in their youth turnout rates from 2018 to 2022. Michigan was one of the four states who experienced a higher youth turnout in 2022, with the youth turnout rate increasing from 32.7% in 2018 to 36.5% in 2022.
The report noted that states with strong policies to make it easier to register and vote tended to have high youth voter turnout in the 2022 midterm elections. In Michigan, record youth turnout may be attributed to policies such as voter access and education for students, no-excuse absentee voting, and the implementation of online and same-day voter registration.
DIFS Issues Notice for Seniors Regarding End of PHE
Starting this spring, Medicaid beneficiaries nationwide will begin having to renew their coverage once again. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, certain Medicaid requirements were temporarily waived, and determinations of eligibility were paused.
Due to the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) ending on May 11, Medicaid beneficiaries will be removed from the program if they are no longer eligible. Thousands of people may lose coverage and seniors who would normally automatically transition from Medicaid to Medicare may have missed the Medicare Supplement open enrollment window.
The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is making sure Michigan residents stay covered as Medicaid redeterminations resume. DIFS is outlining Medicare enrollment opportunities for seniors, now having increased opportunities to enroll in Medicare once their Medicaid coverage ends. DIFS also issued an order allowing individuals eligible for Medicare to enroll in a supplement plan regardless of health status or age. This will ensure eligible seniors will receive appropriate coverage and not pay more because of their health status, medical history, or timing of their Medicare enrollment.
Gun Reform Continues to Make Strides in Michigan
On April 19, the Michigan state Senate passed Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) legislation. This red flag law package would enable courts to issue ERPOs towards individuals who pose a significant risk of personal injury to themselves or others by possessing a firearm. The ERPO would then prohibit the individual from possessing or purchasing a firearm.
In separate but related news, the Court of Claims Judge Thomas Cameron denied a motion for Michigan Open Carry, et al v Michigan House of Representatives, et al. Michigan Open Carry and Great Lakes Gun Rights filed suit against the Michigan House of Representatives and Senate stating they were denied the opportunity to address the state legislature during committee hearings on the larger gun reform package. Judge Cameron ruled that the plaintiffs failed to identify the specific rules and how they were violated under the Open Meetings Act, among other items.
MDHHS Announces CHW Policy Primer Series
The Michigan Medicaid Program is working to implement a policy incorporating Community Health Worker (CHW) services as a benefit for Medicaid beneficiaries. In order to expand Medicaid coverage while also expanding reimbursement for CHW’s, these services are recognized as a fee-for-service benefit. CHW services allow Medicaid beneficiaries to have better access to health care services that are culturally responsive and equitable.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Behavioral and Physical Health and Aging Services Administration (MDHHS BPHASA) is encouraging residents and Medicaid beneficiaries to provide recommendations. This is being done through a series of recorded policy initiative updates.
This series, called the Policy Primer Series, consists of four total videos, launching weekly from April 17 to May 8. The videos will discuss Managed Care Organization versus Community Provider Distinction, Provider Qualifications, and Covered Services and Reimbursement.
MDHHS Commemorates Minority Health Month
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Office of Equity and Minority Health (OEMH) works to ensure health equity and eliminate health disparities among Michigan’s racial and ethnic populations. Racial and ethnic groups such as African Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Arab and Chaldean Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics/Latinos disproportionately face negative health outcomes.
OEMH is working to eliminate health disparities and increase access to quality affordable health care for Michigan’s racial and ethnic populations. With April being Minority Health Month, the office will be launching a series of conversations as well as sponsoring social media and community events in an effort to gather statewide feedback on Race and Ethnicity Data Collection Standards and learn how to best represent racial and ethnic populations in MDHHS’ data collection, analysis, and dissemination efforts.