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Issue Alert - 08-04-01

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Apr 16, 2008

Program Area:

Plan First!

Issue Summary:

Effective April 1, 2008, women who have other health insurance can qualify for Plan First!

Persons Affected:

Plan First! applicants and recipients who have other insurance that does not cover family planning services

For More Information:

Center for Civil Justice 320 S. Washington, 2nd Floor Saginaw, MI 48607 (989) 755-3120, (800)724-7441 Fax: (989) 755-3558 E-mail:

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


Plan First provides family planning services to women who are over-income for Medicaid but have income below 185%.  Beginning in April 2007, Plan First was not available to women who had private health insurance even if the insurance did not have family planning coverage.

What's Happening?

Effective April 1, 2008, the Department of Community Health has rescinded the policy that denied Plan First coverage to women whose private health insurance does not cover family planning.

Beginning April 1, 2008, women who have private insurance that does not cover family planning services can qualify for Plan First if they meet the other eligibility criteria.  

See generally DHS Program Eligibility Manual (PEM) Item 124 for other eligibility criteria. DHS Program Policy Bulletins and policies are available online at

Also see Issue Alert 07/11/2006 for detailed eligibility and application information.  Issue alerts are available at

What Should Advocates Do?

Inform clients who were denied or thought they might be denied Plan First because they had other private health insurance that they should reapply for the program.

Encourage women who are over-income for Medicaid to apply for Plan First for coverage of family planning service.

What Should Clients Do?

If you were denied for Plan First last year because you had private health insurance, you should reapply for Plan First.  Applications are available online at, at local health departments, and at DHS offices.   You may apply online or by faxing or mailing the application to the Plan First processing unit in Lansing.

Finding Help

Most legal aid and legal services offices handle these types of cases, and they do not charge a fee.

You can locate various sources of legal and related services, including the free legal aid office that serves your county, at

You can also look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738.