LANSING (AP) – The Obama administration has signed off on Michigan’s plan to expand Medicaid to 322,000 more low-income residents of the state, Gov. Rick Snyder announced Monday night.

Snyder said Michigan received a waiver of certain provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act of 2010. The approval means that Michigan can proceed with its plan to extend Medicaid eligibility to people making up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level.

“Ensuring access to health care for hard-working Michiganders will strengthen the health of our state’s residents and our economy,” the Republican governor said in a statement. “With the approval of the Healthy Michigan Plan, we can move forward to bring coverage to residents, creating a healthier, more productive workforce while saving money for the state’s taxpayers and job providers.”

Snyder signed a measure in September to establish individual health savings accounts for adult recipients and require them to pay up to 5 percent of their annual income toward the government health insurance program that Michigan runs through managed-care plans. Monthly premiums and copays can be reduced if participants engage in certain healthy behaviors.

On Nov. 8, the state applied for a waiver of some provisions of the 2010 federal health care law.

“We thank the federal government for its speedy review and approval of Michigan’s innovative plan and approach,” Snyder said.

Department of Community Health Director Jim Haveman says he expects about 322,000 uninsured adults to enroll in 2014. Of those, about 70,000 will fall between 100 and 133 percent of the poverty level and be subject to premium requirements.

The income cap is about $15,000 for a single person and about $34,000 for a family of four. Applicants must be between 19 and 64 and not currently eligible for Medicaid.

Medicaid expansion is part of a national strategy to ensure that nearly all Americans have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

“This approval marks an important step in the process of providing coverage to hard-working Michigan residents,” Haveman said in a statement. “Now that the waiver has been approved, our staff will immediately begin to establish the enrollment process for the newly eligible to ensure the plan is ready for implementation around April 2014.”

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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