Glitches delay Medicaid for 84,000 in Michigan

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DETROIT (AP) - About 84,000 Michigan residents who qualify for government health insurance are being forced to wait for benefits because of glitches in the new federal insurance website.

The Detroit News reported Monday that Medicaid applications on the healthcare.gov website since Oct. 1 haven’t been getting processed because the state hasn’t gotten complete applications back from the federal government. The Michigan Department of Community Health said the problem isn’t unique to Michigan.

“We don’t know why we aren’t getting the complete information,” spokeswoman Angela Minicuci said. “We’re receiving the notice, but we’re not receiving enough information on each individual to begin processing those applications.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services didn’t shed any light on why Michigan isn’t getting complete applications, according to the News.

When enrollment began Oct. 1 under the health law, experts expected many people who didn’t know they were eligible for traditional Medicaid to learn of their eligibility.

The glitches also are expected to affect about a half-million low-income adults who will start qualifying for Medicaid as early as April 1 under the federal health care law’s Medicaid expansion. Computer upgrades to process their applications aren’t done, though.

Minicuci said the state is trying to contact people who may have already applied for Medicaid online to encourage them to apply again at the state website, www.mibridges.michigan.gov.

State officials aren’t committing to a specific start date of Medicaid expansion in April, though coverage could still be retroactive to April 1. The state is worried that thousands who qualify for expanded Medicaid may have been told online that they aren’t eligible for the program.

The state health department plans to launch an education campaign urging people to revisit healthcare.gov after April 1 to apply.

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Information from: The Detroit News, http://detnews.com/

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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