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Published 4/8/2020
2:10pm

Healthcare Coverage Available to Michiganders who Lose Job or Experience a Drop in Income

Amazon Storefronts Taking Advantage of  Consumers’ COVID-19 Fears

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Michiganders who lose a job, resulting in a loss of their healthcare coverage or a change in income, may have low or no-cost healthcare options available through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Consumers in these situations are not required to wait for the yearly Open Enrollment Period and should act now.
 
“Michiganders who lose employer-based health insurance may have options to continue or replace their coverage,” said DIFS Director Anita G. Fox. “If consumers have questions about enrolling, DIFS is available to assist.”

Consumers have 60 days after losing essential health coverage, such as through a job loss, or experienced a change in income to take advantage of a Special Enrollment Period. To determine eligibility, consumers should visit www.healthcare.gov. Depending on income and their situation, consumers may qualify for cost sharing reductions, premium tax credits, coverage for their children (CHIP), or Medicaid. Consumers should contact DIFS toll free at 877-999-6442 if they need assistance.

Act now and apply

• When a consumer loses essential health coverage, they may be eligible to enroll in an individual health plan during a Special Enrollment Period.
•  If consumers are new to www.healthcare.gov, they can create an account. If they already have one, they may log in to start or update an application.

Enrollment help is available

• DIFS can help. The Michigan Health Insurance Consumer Assistance Program (HICAP) can provide shopping tips and help answer questions about health insurance or Special Enrollment Periods. 
• Contact DIFS at 877-999-6442 or email at DIFS-HICAP@michigan.gov.
• Resources to get started:
>Understanding your Health Coverage.
>Special Enrollment Period.

 Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly.

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Update 4/5/2020

Benteler Automotive Corporation in West Michigan will lay off 1,000 employees.  The company notified the state of the temporary layoffs due to global impacts on the supply chain.

Cease and desist letters were sent to three non-essential Upper Peninsula businesses for remaining open when only essential businesses should be open.  Auto Credit Center, Grow Masters Indoor & Outdoor Gardening Supplies and Holy Smokes Tobacco Shop, all in Menominee County, were hand-delivered the letters by Michigan State Police.

Michigan State University is launching virtual courses aimed at anyone interested in gardening.  The Cabin Fever Conversations series features a different guest speaker each week.

Meijer is now conducting health-screenings of employees before each shift.  The West Michigan-based retailer joins other companies taking extra steps to keep employees and customers safe.

The Treasury Department has announced that Social Security recipients will automatically receive the direct payment being made to Americans as part of the CARES Act, Congressman John Moolenaar said, noting that he supported the initiative. Social Security recipients who normally do not file a tax return, do not need to file one to receive the payment.

Lansing Police are asking for help locating a missing teen.  Demasio Nino Perez is 14 years old, 6'1 and 155 pounds, police say, and was reported as a runaway/missing person last seen in the 500 block of Riley Street in Lansing.  He was wearing black and grey sweatpants and a grey t-shirt.  Call 517-483-4600 with information.

Saginaw parks and playgrounds have closed to vehicle access effective immediately.  Anyone wishing to utilize a city park will have to enter on foot until further notice.

The MHSAA has cancelled the remainder of the 2019-2020 winter and sports seasons.  This marks the first year since 1942-1943 that finals will not be played.  World War II forced the cancellation of many final sporting events.

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