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Expanded Medicaid eligibility in Flint lead crisis

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The Flint River, corrosive water from which went through lead pipes to poison thousands of people.

In response to the lead-in-water crisis in Flint, Mich.,  the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) gave formal approval to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposal to expand Medicaid eligibility and coverage for low- and moderate-income children and pregnant women affected by Flint’s lead crisis.

Thus, the Commonwealth Fund reports, “Medicaid will be extended to an additional 15,000 lead-exposed children and pregnant women served by the Flint water system. Once eligibility is established, children will remain eligible until they reach age 21. This expanded eligibility standard effectively doubles the state’s normal Medicaid eligibility rules for Flint’s pregnant women and children, raising it from twice to four times the federal poverty level. (Families with incomes above this level can purchase Medicaid coverage.)

“Both existing and newly eligible beneficiaries will be entitled to receive all Medicaid benefits, including comprehensive pregnancy care, and early and periodic screening, diagnosis, and treatment (EPSDT) services to promote healthy child development.”

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