You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 11:12 a.m.

Washtenaw Health Plan to offer state health care program to adults with little-to-no income in April

By Amy Biolchini

A health insurance plan specifically designed to help adults with little-to-no income is enrolling Michigan residents in the month of April only.

Made possible through the Michigan Department of Human Services, the Adult Benefit Waiver Program is enrolling patients locally through the Washtenaw Health Plan under its “Plan A.”

This is the first time this particular insurance program has opened enrollment in two and a half years, said Ellen Rabinowitz, executive director of the Washtenaw Health Plan.

At that time, about 2,000 Washtenaw County residents enrolled in the plan. Enrollment numbers have dropped to 600 residents on the plan as of this month, said Krista Nordberg, director of enrollment and advocacy services.

“We further hope the state moves forward with Medicaid expansion in 2014, which would include the Plan A enrollees,” Rabinowitz said in statement.

Washtenaw Health Plan has set a goal to bring its enrollment numbers in Plan A back to 2,200 people in 22 days, Nordberg said.

Coverage provided under Plan A includes primary and specialty care, prescription drugs and limited mental health services. Co-pays for prescription drugs are about $1 under the plan.

Eligible adults are between the ages of 19 and 64 years old. They must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident for at least five years.

The Adult Benefit Waiver program is for adults with no income or very low income: The requirements are a maximum income of $335 per month for a single person, or a maximum income of $452 per month for a married couple.

Applicants must also have less than $3,000 in assets, excluding a car and a home.

No interview is required to enroll, and the application process is fairly simple, Nordberg said.

Washtenaw County residents can enroll through the Washtenaw Health Plan during the month of April only.

The office is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at 555 Towner St. in Ypsilanti. Call (734) 544-3030 for more information, or visit

Residents from any part of Michigan can enroll in the Adult Benefit Waiver Program by visiting or at a Department of Human Services location.

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.



Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 1:37 p.m.

Where are the funds coming from that will pay for this program? Who is verifying the eligibility of individuals? Under the new Obamacare plan, I thought these individuals are to be covered. Whoops, sorry forgot most of what we did not know about this Plan is readily coming forth with not too many good results.

Amy Biolchini

Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 1:42 p.m.

This program is provided through Michigan's Department of Human Services, which verify the eligibility.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 10:53 a.m.

Why do they want to raise the number of people in this plan? Even a person on unemployment benefits won't be eligible for it.Sounds like a way to have another government sponsored plan where only the paid workers for this plan benefit, not the people who need it.

Amy Biolchini

Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 1:50 p.m.

Two and a half years ago, about 2,000 people enrolled in this plan from Washtenaw County. Since then, enrollment has declined to 600. The Washtenaw Health Plan is trying to make sure the people that are eligible and aren't enrolled right now either get back into the program or enroll for the first time.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 10:13 p.m.

No interview is required to enroll, and the application process is fairly simple, Nordberg said. And how extensive is the process of confirming eligibility? Non-existent I suspect.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 11:27 p.m.

Amy I am not as interested in WHO is responsible, as much as what is the extent of their background check? How do they verify who is eligible?

Amy Biolchini

Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 2:09 p.m.

DHS is responsible for confirming eligibility.