I hope this newsletter reaches you and your family safe and healthy. It’s been an exciting few weeks in the Senate as the first round of budget bills have been passed and are now headed to the House for consideration. I will be sure to keep you updated as this process continues!
Featured in this newsletter:
- Upcoming Event
- Legislative Update
- Community Updates
- Gov. Whitmer Proclaims May as Military Appreciation Month
- May is Maternal Mental Health Month
- Summer 2023 Job Market Forecast for Michigan Teens (Ages 16–19)
- End of Federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Brings Changes to Insurance Coverage for Michiganders
- Helping Medicaid members keep their coverage
- Applications Now Being Accepted for the Fostering Futures Scholarship
If you have any other questions or comments you’d like to share with my team, feel free to call (517) 373-2417 or email SenRBayer@senate.michigan.gov. We are here to assist you!
WHEN: Thursday, May 25, 2023, from 7 – 8 pmWHERE: West Bloomfield Middle School, Auditeria Room, 6000 Orchard Lake Rd, West Bloomfield Township, MI 48322
For the past 40 years, too many stakeholders and directly impacted communities and populations have been largely left out of the state budget process. However, Senate Democrats are finally in a position to do things differently. To do things better, for everyone.
As Chair of the MDE Subcommittee, I am incredibly proud of the budget we passed to prioritize our students and teachers. This budget ensures there is enough funding to continue child care subsidies at 200% of the federal poverty level, which is crucial for our economy and Michigan families. It also includes funding to conduct a study of Michigan’s educational system.
Monday night, Representative Koleszar and I presented a tribute to Northville Police Officer Peter Davis in honor of his outstanding work in the community. Officer Davis began his career with the Northville Police Department on September 15, 2000. He is a constant positive force in the department who is always willing to help other officers. Because of this, his recognition as the Police Officer of the Year is richly deserved!
I had a marvelous time at the Dawoodi Bohras of Detroit’s Eid al-Fitr Dinner earlier this month! It was a delightful occasion that was organized to recognize the end of Ramadan, and to celebrate a multi-faith sentiment of unity and peace. I sincerely appreciated the invitation, as well as the opportunity to engage with community members!
Gov. Whitmer Proclaims May as Military Appreciation Month
Governor Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed May as Military Appreciation Month in Michigan, honoring military members and their families throughout the state by recognizing their sacrifices and celebrating their successes.
Michigan is committed to making the state the premier choice for military service members, veterans and their families to live, work, serve and play. In support of this effort, the MVAA helps connect veterans with federal, state and local benefits and resources they earned for their service. To learn more about employment, healthcare, education and quality-of-life benefits, veterans can contact the Michigan Veteran Resource Service Center at 1-800-MICH-VET or visit www.michigan.gov/MVAA.
For more information on upcoming ceremonies and activities to honor veterans and military families, please visit the MVAA events calendar at www.michigan.gov/mvaa/events.
May is Maternal Mental Health Month
May is Maternal Mental Health Month, a time to increase awareness about the availability of perinatal mental health help, resources, and support for birthing people, their partners, families, and friends.
Postpartum Support International (PSI) is hosting an exclusive campaign for Maternal Mental Health Month 2023, themed Healing Starts with Help. Use the PSI Social Media Toolkit throughout May to help raise awareness.
Summer 2023 Job Market Forecast for Michigan Teens (Ages 16–19)
The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget’s Michigan Center for Data and Analytics released its summer (June–August) teen employment forecast for 2023. For more information, including resources for finding summer employment, click here.
End of Federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Brings Changes to Insurance Coverage for Michiganders
The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is alerting consumers that there may be changes to their health insurance coverage for COVID-related testing and treatments now that the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) has ended.
Federal law required that many health services related to COVID-19, including testing and vaccinations, had to be covered at no cost for the duration of the PHE. Many Michiganders may now have to pay out-of- pocket for some COVID-related care. For more specific information about different types of medical care that have been affected by the ending of the PHE, see below:
At-Home and Laboratory COVID Tests:
- Private Insurers: The federal mandate requiring health insurers to provide no-cost coverage for COVID-19 testing, including at-home tests, has ended. Most people with health insurance will continue to have coverage for laboratory COVID-19 tests, subject to the plan’s cost sharing. At-home testing for COVID-19 is an eligible medical expense for flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs). Michiganders should check with their plan for more details.
- Medicare: Medicare is no longer required to provide coverage for at-home COVID-19 testing. Medicare Part B participants can still obtain laboratory COVID-19 testing, with authorization by a medical provider, without out-of-pocket cost. Medicare Advantage participants may have additional flexibility regarding COVID-19 testing. Michiganders should check with their plan for more details.
- Medicaid: Under federal law, Medicaid and MIChild participants can obtain at-home and laboratory COVID-19 tests through September 30, 2024.
- Private insurers: Treatment for COVID-19 will continue to be covered but insurers are now able to apply cost sharing, such as deductibles and coinsurance, and require prior approval for these treatments. Michiganders should confirm coverage with their insurer or plan before seeking treatment.
- Medicare: Medicare beneficiaries may have to pay for a portion of their COVID-19 care as required by their plan.
- Medicaid: Medicaid and MIChild are required to cover all drugs for the treatment or prevention of COVID–19 with no cost sharing for enrollees through September 30, 2024.
- COVID-19 vaccinations continue to be supplied with no out-of-pocket cost by the federal government.
DIFS can help consumers with health insurance questions and complaints. Contact DIFS Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 877-999-6442 or Michigan.gov/HealthInsurance. For more information about the state’s Medicaid and MIChild programs, visit the MIBridges website.
Helping Medicaid members keep their coverageTake action to avoid a gap in coverage
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government declared a Public Health Emergency (PHE), allowing Medicaid members to keep their health care coverage. Per recent federal legislation, eligibility renewals will start again in June. Monthly renewal notifications will be sent by mail beginning in May.
Following these steps will help determine if you still qualify:
- Make sure your contact information is up to date.
- Check mail or text messages for a letter.
- Complete your renewal form (if you get one).
If you’re a Medicaid member, learn more about how these changes may affect your health care coverage at Michigan.gov/2023benefitchanges.
Applications Now Being Accepted for the Fostering Futures Scholarship
Young adults who have experienced foster care on or after their 13th birthday are eligible to apply for a scholarship from the Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.
The priority deadline for the Fostering Futures Scholarship application for academic year 2023-24 is August 1, 2023. Eligible students enrolled at a Michigan degree-granting college or university may now apply to receive scholarship funds for tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies.
Fostering Future Scholarship Applicants with questions should contact the state Treasury Department’s Student Scholarships, Grants and Outreach area at firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free at 1-888-447-2687.