September 16, 2019

Monday, September 16, 2019

Preparing for Medicaid Work Requirements in MI

More than 270,000 Healthy Michigan Plan recipients may be at risk of losing their coverage once new work requirements go into effect in January – that’s according to the latest numbers from the state.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently announced it is notifying the recipients who currently are not exempt from work requirements, to alert them they’re at risk of losing their coverage.

“These letters are an important step in MDHHS’s multifaceted plan to give Healthy Michigan Plan beneficiaries clear information about what they need to do to continue their coverage,” Robert Gordon, director of MDHHS said in a press release.

The letter notifies recipients that beginning January 1 they will be required to report 80 hours of work or other eligible activities, such as job training, each month to MDHHS to retain their coverage.

The Healthy Michigan Plan, available through the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), provides coverage to more than 650,000 people with incomes at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. View the number of recipients in your county.

According to research from the University of Michigan, the Healthy Michigan Plan has:

  • More than doubled primary care usage.

  • Reduced recipients’ reliance on emergency rooms by 58 percent.

  • Reduced uncompensated care by nearly 50 percent.

  • Added $2.3 billion to the state’s economy.

In December, the Legislature’s plan to implement work requirements for the Healthy Michigan Plan was approved by the federal government.

Michigan is one of 16 states where work requirements are in the works or involved in legal challenges. Indiana is the only state where work requirements are currently being implemented according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Across the country court cases have surfaced, including in Arkansas where a federal judge halted the program after 18,000 recipients lost their coverage. 

Over the summer the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published an analysis of the work requirement mandate in Arkansas.

Highlights of NEJM’s findings include:

  • In the first 6 months of the work requirements there was a significant loss of Medicaid coverage and a rise in uninsured individuals.

  • There were no significant changes in employment associated with the policy. More than 95 percent of individuals who were targeted by the policy already met the requirement or should have been exempt.

  • Many Medicaid recipients said they were unaware of the policy or confused about how to report their status to the state.

In Michigan, the state is working to avoid such issues. For instance, last week the House passed Senate Bill 362 to increase the time individuals have to verify their work status. If a recipient fails to meet the monthly reporting deadline, they now have 60 days to verify their work status. The bill also provides for some individuals who qualify for and are receiving other state supports to automatically have their work status verified. 

Meanwhile, MDHHS has more communications and outreach planned to alert those at risk of losing their coverage, explaining how they can share their status with the state or fill out a form for an exemption.

The Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) which has spoken out against implementing work requirements recently thanked MDHHS on social media for its proactive efforts to try and minimize loss of coverage among recipients.






New Michigan Collaborative to Focus on Support for Immigrants and Refugees

The needs of Southeast Michigan’s growing immigrant and refugee populations are a focus of a new partnership between The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM), The Kresge Foundation and Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR).

The group, known as the Southeast Michigan Immigrant and Funder Collaborative, will work with funders, nonprofits and other key stakeholders to determine the most impactful methods for providing support to the more than 600,000 foreign-born residents of Michigan, over 70 percent of whom live in Southeast Michigan.

"Organizations serving refugees and immigrants are facing increased financial pressures due to decreases in federal assistance and the need for supporting these members of our community is growing," Mariam Noland, president, CFSEM, said in a press release. "The goal of the Southeast Michigan Immigrant and Refugee Funder Collaborative is to provide a coordinated, philanthropic effort to support immigrant- and refugee-serving nonprofit organizations and address the needs of their constituents in our region."

The collaborative formed as a result of a report released by CFSEM, Kresge and The Skillman Foundation, analyzing support organizations and resources for Southeast Michigan’s immigrant and refugee populations. The report details key findings on the region’s immigrant and refugee communities, including the barriers they face in assimilation, the lack of funding organizations serving these populations receive and the impact of federal policy on these populations in Michigan.

Information on local, state and federal funding for nonprofit organizations that serve these populations, scans of organizations embedded in the work and interviews with key stakeholders were used to identify four critical issues facing the region’s foreign-born populations. These include:

  • A lack of access to services such as affordable housing and barriers in obtaining health care, employment and other necessities.

  • Poor public perception of immigrants and refugees, often leading to their needs being overlooked in communities.

  • A lack of federal funding designated to serve the needs of Michigan’s foreign-born populations.

  • No regional strategy that aims to support services for immigrant and refugee populations in the region.

The collaborative will invest $450,000 over the next two years into efforts that support these populations. Additionally, the collaborative plans to partner with key stakeholders – including dozens of nonprofit organizations already serving immigrants and refugees – and communities to determine how to best support the region’s foreign-born population. Nonprofit organizations in Southeast Michigan currently assist these communities with legal services, education on their rights, direct services and community activities.

“Refugees and immigrants are important to the fabric of our society,” a summary of the report states. “They contribute to the communities they live in and bring stories of courage and perseverance against great odds.”

Want more?

Learn more about the Southeast Michigan Immigrant and Refugee Funder Collaborative.

Read the full report.





Challenges Facing Native Communities and the Opportunities for Philanthropic Support

A new online tool has launched to provide education and increase awareness around the history and challenges facing Native communities and how funders can get involved.

Last week Native Americans in Philanthropy – an organization committed to promoting equitable and effective philanthropy in Native communities – and Candid – the new organization that brought together Foundation Center and GuideStar – announced a new, first-of-its-kind website to share with philanthropy what’s being funded when it comes to supporting Native communities, the gaps that exist and how to build equity for Native communities.

The new site and accompanying report highlight the need for more investments in Native communities. The data shows that since 2006, of all the philanthropic funding by large U.S. foundations, on average, 0.4% is directed to Native communities.

As Native Americans in Philanthropy has shared, Native communities across the country are still facing deep disparities.  

Native Americans in Philanthropy’s U.S. data at a glance:

  • 81 percent of Native men experience violence in their lifetime.

  • 84 percent of Native women experience violence in their lifetime.

  • Native children are overrepresented in the foster care system at more than 2.6 times the average rate.

  • Native youth commit suicide at a rate that is 2.5 times higher than the national average.

  • Native youth are 5 times more likely to be placed in the criminal justice system than white youth.

Our state is home to 12 federally recognized Native American tribes, in fact, Michigan is among the 10 states in the country with the highest population of Native Americans.

In a few weeks at CMF’s 47th Annual Conference, CMF will be offering cultural learning opportunities and discussions with the help of Sarah Eagle Heart, Native Americans in Philanthropy and local tribal communities about the rich culture of Native Americans in our state, the systemic barriers Native populations face and the partnerships they’re powering in communities.

Tribal communities in Northern Michigan have worked closely in collaboration with philanthropy to address critical needs in the region. In a breakout session during the Annual Conference, we will explore how foundations can engage with tribal communities to begin to cultivate relationships to address regional needs.

On the national level, Native Americans in Philanthropy is engaging with funders across the country and philanthropy serving organizations like CMF to lift up these issues and how philanthropy can get involved.

The organization also recently released a new Truth and Healing Movement Toolkit which provides a collection of multimedia resources, including a transformational experience called the Blanket Exercise, a participatory history lesson that will be offered to conference attendees.  

It’s all part of Native Americans in Philanthropy’s ongoing work over the next year which will include regional convenings, healing circles and cultural learning tours to support healing work following centuries of disparities and racism.

Want more?

Due to limited space, pre-registration is required to participate in The Blanket Exercise on Tuesday, October 8 at Annual Conference. Sign up today.

Check out the data and resources included in Investing in Native Communities.







CMF Members Recognized for Their Commitment to Service and Philanthropy

Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently recognized 43 individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations at the 2019 Governor’s Service Awards.

Three of those recipients included CMF members: Allan Gilmour, DTE Energy and Bosch.

“Our state is lucky to have such outstanding Michiganders who work hard every single day to build a home for opportunity for everyone,” Whitmer said. “Whether it’s uplifting our neighborhoods or bringing communities together when tragedy strikes, they do this work even when nobody's looking because they know that every contribution makes a huge impact.”

Allan Gilmour, president of The Gilmour-Jirgens Fund received the Lifetime Humanitarian award for his work as an advocate for nonprofits, businesses and universities. Gilmour spent most of his career as an executive at the Ford Motor Company and has served on numerous corporate boards. He has been an advocate for the LGBTQ community, helping to create the HOPE Fund, a supporting organization of the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan that assists organizations that serve LGBTQ communities.

Bosch and DTE Energy, both corporate CMF members, were recognized with the Corporate Community Leader award.

The Bosch Community Fund has awarded more than $24 million in grants to various organizations and educational institutions since 2011. In addition to being passionate about developing future leaders in STEM, Bosch has received many awards for stewardship of the environment, excellence in recycling and being a clean corporate citizen. 

DTE Energy’s culture of volunteerism is a priority for the company. In total, DTE employees volunteered more than 89,000 hours, helped 828 nonprofits and reached an estimated value of $6 million for in-kind services in 2018.

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