FAQs: ACA, Michigan Medicine & You

Questions & Answers about the Affordable Care Act

On this page, we will post answers to questions about options for health care coverage available under the Affordable Care Act (sometimes called Obamacare), and the Healthy Michigan Plan for Medicaid expansion -- and the other ways Michigan Medicine is adapting to this new era in health care and assisting patients and community members in doing so.

Q: Which ACA private insurance and Medicaid expansion plans does Michigan Medicine accept for care this year?

A: A list of the individual and small business Marketplace private plans that we accept in 2019 is here. Keep in mind that even if we are not participating in a particular plan, our advanced care may still be available under other plans if they give authorization.

A list of the Healthy Michigan (expanded Medicaid) plans we accept is also on that page. (General information about what these plans will cover is available from this state web page.)

Q: Can I get enrollment help from anyone at U-M? 

A: Yes, we have a number of staff who have received training to become Certified Application Counselors. Contact them to discuss your needs, and arrange an in-person appointment. Call 877-326-9155 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, or email PFC-Counselors@med.umich.edu.

Q: Do I have to be a U-M patient to get help from these counselors?

A: No - we are here to serve the community!

Q: Is it too late to enroll?

A: Enrollment in Healthy Michigan (expanded Medicaid) happens year-round.

For private plans, "Open Enrollment" began November 1, 2018 and continues through December 15. But someone who has a qualifying life event any time can enroll in a Marketplace plan.

Q: I run a community organization. Can your counselors come to our location to help our clients?

A: Yes! Please use this form to make a request from the Washtenaw Health Initiative.  Or email ACAquestions@umich.edu.

Q: Does Michigan Medicine offer charity care to people who don't have insurance, or help for people whose ACA plans make them responsible for a percentage of costs?

A: We do offer M-Support (charity care or financial assistance) for certain patients. The requirements are listed here. We encourage you to connect with our counselors (contact info above) as soon as possible to discuss you options.

M-Support will still be available for those who "fall through the cracks" of the Affordable Care Act's coverage options. Applying for Medicaid or a Marketplace plan is a pre-requisite for those seeking new or continued charity or M-Support coverage for UMHS care. If you meet any of the exemptions to the health care law (which are listed at https://www.healthcare.gov/exemptions/) or do not qualify for a plan under the Affordable Care Act, you will be considered for ongoing M-Support coverage.  You will be required to  apply for one of the new plans and show documented proof of denial.

Q: I am a veteran and I have VA care. What should I do?

A: See this page on the VA website. 

Q: Will UMHS be able to handle all the new patients that might come to you as a result of the new coverage?

A: We are building our capacity to serve all patients. We especially look forward to providing advanced care to those who need it, on the advice of their own primary care provider. We believe in the right care, at the right time, and the right place.

Q: If I am a U-M employee or graduate student, do I need to shop on the Marketplace for insurance?

A: If you have U-M benefits, probably not - all U-M plans meet federal requirements and part of the cost is paid by U-M. However, if you are not eligible for U-M benefits, if you are on a U-M COBRA plan, or if you work part time and need to cover other adults, you may wish to explore your options. Please contact one of our counselors (information above).

Q: My relative/friend does not speak English well. Can you help them?

A: Yes - we have medical interpreters for many languages available to assist with any conversations between our counselors and community members. You can also share with them these flyers in Spanish, French, Arabic, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Chinese.  You can also call our Interpreter Services office at 734-936-7021.

Q: I've seen materials from U-M that use the term "Obamacare" - isn't that a term used by critics of the Affordable Care Act?

A: Yes - but it's also used by its supporters, the mainstream news media, and Obama administration. It's a common term that isn't an "official" name but still has more widespread recognition than "ACA" or "Affordable Care Act". We're using the term because it's widely used and understood, not because we're taking a stand for or against the ACA or its programs.   

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