HIP Michigan Support Program has openings

BIG RAPIDS — TENCON Health Plan available through District Health Department No. 10, continues to have money to refund part of the premium cost of people who are eligible for or currently enrolled in HIP Michigan. HIP Michigan is part of the Affordable Care Act signed into law in 2010. It provides affordable health coverage to Michigan residents who have been uninsured for six months and have an eligible pre-existing condition.

Only 245 people statewide have signed up for Michigan’s high-risk pool. Cost has been a barrier so the state made two less expensive options available May 1. The two new plans have lowered premiums, compared to the current plan, but higher deductibles for the same coverage. The current plan has a $1,000 deductible. The two new plans have $2,500 and $3,500 deductibles.

“This might be helpful for low income uninsured people who cannot come up with the money to pay the premium,” says Bruce Miller, Executive Director of TENCON Health Plan. “The lower premium of the new option coupled to the premium refund offered by TENCON could bring the cost within reach of low income people.”

People ages 19-24 have the cheapest coverage options - $103.85 a month with a $3,500 annual deductible. A person 60 years or older would pay $415.40 a month with a $3,500 deductible. TENCON will refund 28 percent of the premium amount so a 19-24 year-old would end up paying only $74.77 a month. A person 60 or older would end up paying $299.08 after the TENCON refund.

To be eligible for the TENCON refund, the HIP Michigan enrollee must have income at or below 150 percent of poverty ($21,855 for a two person family). To receive reimbursement a person must: 1) be a resident of one of the counties covered by District Health Department #10; 2) be enrolled in the HIP Michigan Program; 3) have income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level and, 4) present documentation to the Health Department each time they pay their HIP Michigan premium.

If you are already enrolled in HIP Michigan contact the Health Department office nearest you to find out more. For more information about HIP Michigan call 877-459-3113 or visit the website at www.hipmichigan.org.

Plan RX Program

District Health Department No. 10 continues to have openings for about 1,000 people in the TENCON Plan RX prescription program. The openings are available on a first-come-first serve basis. Plan RX cardholders pay $5 for generic drugs and $10 for brand name drugs that are on the TENCON list of covered drugs. Medications on the list will cover most common health problems, as well as chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension and asthma.

Plan RX is available to people age 19 to 64 with income below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. People cannot enroll if they are eligible for another government sponsored prescription program. Membership in Plan RX also qualifies people for a spot on the waiting list for the TENCON Plan B program. TENCON Plan B adds coverage for doctor visits, health check-ups, and outpatient lab and x-ray tests.

Enrollment in Plan RX can be completed at any of the District Health Department No. 10 county offices and over the telephone.