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Medical Assistance (MA)


    Medicaid and other Medical Assistance (MA) programs are health insurance for low-income individuals and families. Michigan has many health care programs for children, families, and adults who are eligible. Each program has income limits and some have asset limits—limits vary with each program.

    The income limits look at the money you earn and income from things like child support, disability benefits, unemployment or other sources. MA rules sometimes don’t count all the money you receive as income. For example, if you work, some of the money you earn will normally not be counted.

    There are no asset limits for medical assistance programs for eligible children or pregnant women. Most other types of MA do have asset limits. Assets include cash, personal property, and real property. Real property is land and the things on it. Personal property includes investments, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, trusts and other property. Some types of assets are not counted toward MA asset limits, including your home and car.

    Once you are enrolled, MA programs work just like other health insurance programs. The purpose of MA is to make health care services available to people who cannot afford them.

    To find out who is eligible for MA in Michigan, read about the following programs.

    Healthy Kids

    This Medicaid health care program is available for low-income children under age 19 and for pregnant women of any age. There is an income limit, but once enrolled there are no monthly premiums for Healthy Kids. You can quickly find out if you or your children are eligible for health care coverage through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service’s (DHHS) website.

    The Healthy Michigan Plan (HMP)

    The Healthy Michigan Plan (HMP) provides low cost health coverage to Michigan residents. You may qualify for HMP if:

    • You are between 19 and 64 years old
    • Your income is at or below 133% of the federal poverty level
    • You do not qualify for Medicaid 
    • You are not pregnant when you apply
    • You are a Michigan resident 

    To learn more, visit HMP.

    Low-Income Family Medicaid (LIF)

    Low-Income Family Medicaid (LIF) is for low-income families with minor children. There are income and asset limits. Families that get cash assistance are automatically eligible for this program.

    Pregnant Women

    Healthy Kids for Pregnant Women

    Medicaid is available to an eligible woman while she is pregnant. This includes the month her pregnancy ends and during the two calendar months following the month her pregnancy ends, regardless of the reason (for example: live birth, miscarriage). There is an income limit for this program. Pregnant women not eligible for Medicaid due to immigration status need to apply for Emergency Services Only (ESO) Medicaid to cover labor and delivery.

    Group 2 Pregnant Women

    A woman whose income exceeds the limit for Healthy Kids for Pregnant Women, may be eligible for Medicaid under the Group 2 Pregnant Women program. If her income is over the income limit, the pregnant woman is assigned a deductible. Recipients can be charged for medical expenses that equal or exceed the deductible, and still qualify for this program.

    Maternity Outpatient Medical Services (MOMS)

    The MOMS program provides immediate health coverage for pregnant women. It provides outpatient prenatal coverage only. The MOMS program is available to provide immediate prenatal care while a Medicaid application is pending. Other women who may be eligible for MOMS include teens who choose not to apply for Medicaid, for confidentiality reasons, and non-citizens who are only eligible for emergency services only.

    Prenatal health care services will be covered by MOMS and/or Medicaid for the entire pregnancy and for two months after the pregnancy ends. There is an income test for everyone except teens.

    An authorized agency can apply for MOM’s via Contact your local public health department for more information on enrollment in MOM’s.

    Under 21

    Young adults who can no longer receive Medicaid as part of a family may be eligible until they turn 21. There are income limits and an asset test.


    MIChild is health insurance for minor children who are over the income limits of Medicaid programs (Healthy Kids or LIF). MDHHS administers MIChild. A family’s income must be below 212% of the federal poverty level in order to qualify. There is a $10.00 monthly premium per family. You can apply online for MIChild, or by phone at 1-888-988-6300.

    Aged, Blind, Disabled

    In general, anyone who is elderly, blind, or disabled is eligible for Medicaid. Elderly means 65 or older. Income and asset tests apply.

    If you are applying because you are disabled, there are medical forms that your MDHHS specialist will give you to get be filled out by your doctor. It is also a good idea to get supporting medical records to submit with your application.

    Medicare Savings Program

    If your monthly income falls below 100% of the poverty guidelines, Medicaid should pay your Medicare premiums, coinsurance, and deductibles. This is called the Medicare Savings Program. The more money you earn, the less Medicaid will pay. For example, if you earn between 100%-120% of the federal poverty guidelines, Medicaid will pay for Medicare Part B premiums. If you make more than 120% but less than 135% of the poverty guidelines, Medicaid will pay the Medicare Part B premiums only if there is enough money available. Asset limits still apply.

    How to Apply for Medical Assistance

    To apply for Medicaid, submit an application to MDHHS. The application process takes around 45 days to complete, but a disability related application can take up to 90 days. The fastest way to apply is online through the MDHHS website, MI Bridges. You can also apply in person at your local MDHHS office. Your local MDHHS office will give you a general application form, but it may be easier to print an application form and fill it out completely before going to MDHHS.

    When you apply, you will be asked to prove important parts of your application. This means you may have to show documents like birth certificates, social security cards, state ID cards, driver licenses, or passports. You may also need to take documents that show your income and expenses, like bank statements and proof of rent (such as a lease). These expense documents must be less than 30 days old.

    A MDHHS specialist will contact you and set up a conference to go over your Medicaid application. You should bring your important documents to this conference. The conference is also an opportunity to learn about your rights. Be sure to ask the MDHHS specialist any questions you have about the application process or your public benefits.