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Forums held across the state aimmed at educating residents on Healthy Michigan work requirements

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is holding community meetings to help educate residents about new work requirements for Healthy Michigan recipients.

The new work requirements for Healthy Michigan recipients take effect in January, with the first report from recipients due by February 1st.

Studies have suggested that over a quarter of Healthy Michigan recipients could lose coverage due to the new requirements. Those losses could even come from residents meeting the work requirements but either unaware of them or unable to navigate the added paperwork.

Earlier this year, Governor Whitmer announced roughly $1-billion worth of line item vetoes to the state budget, in part so that funding could be put behind education for the work requirements. That was after the Republican legislature rejected her budget requests for the funding.

Both Republicans and Democrats have expressed disappointment with the Governor’s vetoes.

Bob Wheaton is with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. He said that funding is going to community educational sessions and mailings.

“I believe this is going to be it,” he said. “We have a total of 15 forums with locations all around the state that either have been held or will be held in the next couple of days.”

Wheaton said Governor Whitmer and MDHHS officials have made it clear that the goal is to reduce the amount of residents impacted.

“We know there are people who are going to lose coverage and we’re concerned about that,” he said. “But we want to do whatever we can to reduce the number of people who do lose healthcare coverage.”

Wheaton said the community meetings so far have been well attended, but added that he hopes to see more Healthy Michigan recipients at future meetings.

Wheaton said MDHHS received roughly $6 million for community meetings and mailings to alert residents of the upcoming changes.

Another $9 million has been allocated towards skills training for Healthy Michigan enrollees.

You can find out more about specific meetings here.