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Issue Alert - 03-03-05

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Date:

Apr 01, 2003

Issue Summary:

Green plastic 'mihealth' card replaces blue paper Medicaid cards that were sent to recipients monthly.

Persons Affected:

Medicaid recipients


Background

Medicaid

What's Happening?

Effective April 1, 2003, paper Medicaid cards will no longer be issued. Each recipient in the family will receive his or her own green plastic mihealth card. They will use this same card every month during which they are eligible for Medicaid. Spenddown Medicaid recipients will receive their mihealth card when they show that they met their spenddown during a month. They will then use the same card in future months when they meet their spenddown.If a Medicaid case is re-opened or reinstated and the recipient has received a mihealth card in the past, the recipient will not receive a new mihealth card unless they request one by calling the beneficiary hotline at 1-800-642-3195. Many doctors will have a machine that they can swipe the mihealth card through to read the recipient's Medicaid number. If a doctor or pharmacy does not have one of these machines, they will have to call in the recipient's Medicaid number like they used to do with the blue paper cards. The Medicaid number is printed on the front of the green plastic mihealth card.

What Should Advocates Do?

<p>Advocates should make sure their clients know about the new mihealth card. Advocates should be sure their clients know that they will no longer receive a blue paper card each month. Advocates should make sure that clients don't assume they have been cut off of Medicaid because they don't receive a new card in future months. Advocates should also make sure their clients keep their green plastic card and don't throw it away after the month ends, since they won't receive this new card every month.Advocates should refer clients to the beneficiary helpline for a replacement card if they lose their green plastic mihealth card or if they don't receive one in April. The helpline number is 1-800-642-3195. Advocates should advise clients whose Medicaid cases are re-opened or reinstated that they will not automatically receive a new card in the mail; if they no longer have their old mihealth card they will have to request a new card by calling the beneficiary helpline.

What Should Clients Do?

<p>Medicaid recipients should call the beneficiary helpline at 1-800-642-3195 if they don't receive a green plastic mihealth card in the mail in early April. Recipients should be sure to keep their mihealth card beyond April, since they won't receive a new card each month like they used to. If clients visit a doctor or pharmacy who doesn't have a swipe machine, they should show the doctor their Medicaid number that is printed on the front of the mihealth card.

Finding Help

Most legal aid and legal services office handle these type of cases, and they do not charge a fee. You can locate the "free" legal services or legal aid office that serves your county on the Michigan Legal Assistance Network website (http://www.mlan.net/locate.html) or look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738