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Issue Alert - 04-12-04 rev

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Date:

Dec 22, 2004

Issue Summary:

Enrollment in the Adult Medical Program (AMP) and County Health Plans is "unfrozen" for one month only -- January 1, 2005 through January 31, 2005

Persons Affected:

Uninsured, very low income individuals with cash assets below $3,000 who do not qualify for Medicaid

For More Information:

Michigan Poverty Law Program 611 Church Street, Suite 4A Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3000(734) 998-6100(734) 998-9125 Fax


Background

Adult Medical Program (AMP) - also known as Adult Benefits Waiver (ABW) - and County Health Plans

What's Happening?

Enrollment in the Adult Medical Program has been “unfrozen” effective January 1, 2004, for a one month period only. Applications submitted January 1, 2005 through January 31, 2005 will be approved if the individual meets the eligibility criteria for AMP. Although information initially distributed by FIA indicated that individuals who had been denied during the freeze would be contacted and given an opportunity to re-activate their applications without re-applying, that no longer is the case. Individuals who were denied AMP during the freeze must re-apply for assistance between January 1 and January 31, 2005. In some cases, the individual may be able to update an application already on file at FIA if they are receiving oither assistance, such as Food Assistance Program (FAP- formerly known as food stamps). Because of the short time for enrollment, however, individuals should re-apply if they are not able to quickly contact their FIA worker to arrange for updating an existing application.Individuals may submit an application by apply by mail, by fax, or by delivering the application to FIA. Applications must be RECEIVED by FIA by January 31, 2005. Local offices will be able to open new AMP cases during the month of January. Applications received during January but not processed by the 31st will have to be opened by the MA policy unit in Lansing after the local office determines eligibility.

What Should Advocates Do?

Get the word out! Let local agencies that serve low income clients know about this limited opportunity for individuals to be approved for AMP coverage!Make sure your clients know about this opportunity and that those who have been denied because of the freeze know that they should re-apply during January. Educate clients who are approved for AMP about the fact that it is important to fill out and return their papers when it is time for their annual redetermination, because recipients whose cases close will not be able to get back onto AMP during the enrollment freeze.

What Should Clients Do?

Apply for AMP during January 2005 if you:(1) are uninsured or on a County Plan B;(2) have very low income;** (3) have cash assets totalling less than $3,000; and(4) do not qualify for Medicaid.** Your "budgeted" income must be below 35% of the federal poverty level ($264 per month in 2004 and $281 per month in 2005 for a single individual). Because of special deductions, your gross income can be higher than the dollar limits if you are working or you pay child support for a child that does not live with you.Submit proof of income and any other verification requested by FIA in connection with their application for AMP.

Finding Help

Most legal aid and legal services offices handle these types 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 LawHelp web site (http://MI.LawHelp.org) or look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738.