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Issue Alert - 13-04-05

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Apr 15, 2013

Program Area:

Medicaid (MA)

Issue Summary:

The Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) has included the Medicaid Desk Aid in its Bridges Eligibility Manual (BEM)

Persons Affected:

Advocates and others working on Medicaid cases

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 Fax: (734) 998-9125


There are dozens of different Medicaid eligibility groups in Michigan.   For many years, DHS included a list of the eligibility groups, together with some basic information about each group, in the DHS policy manual.  For the past several years, however, a comprehensive list of eligibility categories has been missing from the Bridges Eligibility Manual.

What's Happening?

Effective May 1, 2013, BEM will include Item 101, which has an Exhibit I listing all Medicaid eligibility categories and the BEM Items where the rules on eligibility are found, as well information on how the various eligibility groups are coded in Bridges.

Additional Exhibits include other information about how an individual’s Medicaid coverage may be coded in Bridges.

This information will be helpful to advocates who will want to be sure they have examined all possible eligibility categories when assisting individuals seeking Medicaid coverage.  It also will be helpful for advocates who seek to decipher Bridges printouts or to understand the scope of an individual’s Medicaid coverage (Do they have a deductible?  Has the coverage been activated?  Are they restricted to emergency services? etc.)  

What Should Advocates Do?

1.    Use BEM 101 as a tool when representing Medicaid applicants or recipients.

        2.  Let other organizations know that BEM 101 is available.

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.