Michigan To Reward Medicaid Enrollees Who Take 'Personal Responsibility'

After an exceedingly high Medicaid enrollment this spring, Michigan became the second state to offer incentives and rewards for participants who agree to do health risk assessments with their physicians once a year as well as work to take the proper steps that improve their overall health.

Delayed by state lawmakers, Michigan did not expand Medicaid until the day after the federal online insurance exchange closed March 31 — a move advocates feared would undermine signups.

Turns out, enrollment is exceeding expectations, which has pleased officials who seek to make the state among the first in the nation to add a heavy dose of “personal responsibility” to the federal-state entitlement program.

This spring, the Wolverine state became the second after Iowa to offer lower premiums and cost sharing to recipients who agree to do a health risk assessment with their doctor every year and to commit to improve their health by taking steps such as quitting smoking or losing weight.

“There is a heavy consumer engagement piece in this, both in terms of finances and skin in the game, but also in terms of healthy behaviors and really trying to find ways in which we can make the population of Michigan healthier,” Michigan Medicaid Director Stephen Fitton said in a briefing in Washington earlier this month. “We have a high obesity rate in Michigan. We don’t do very well on some broad [health] measures and we are really looking for ways to move the needle there.”

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Source: Kaiser Health News