As a senior ministry leader in Detroit, I see a lot of people who struggle to afford and access proper healthcare. They’re often older, living on limited incomes, and they have serious healthcare needs. Furthermore, they find endless insurance paperwork and navigating complex healthcare plans confusing. It’s a real concern affecting not only quality of life but, literally, lifespans in our community.
I’m spreading the word in my congregation and around the community about a program called Michigan’s MI Health Link. This unique program combines Medicaid and Medicare plans into an easy to use umbrella program that helps lower-income seniors lead healthier lives.
Approximately 63,000 Detroit and Wayne County residents are “dual eligible” – meaning they have limited incomes and resources, are older or disabled, and qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare. They often have serious healthcare needs, but want to live independently, in their neighborhoods, surrounded by family and friends.
MI Health Link helps people 21 years of age and above, including seniors, remain both independent and safe.
Participants receive assistance with comprehensive healthcare and if they qualify, get in-home help with things like access ramps and fixes to their homes that enable safety, security and comfort. Participants also have access to a personal care coordinator who can help navigate paperwork, rides to appointments, and other services.
This program is available in Wayne and Macomb Counties and is offered through Michigan Complete Health, Aetna, AmeriHealth, Molina and HAP Midwest. Michigan Complete Health is headquartered right here in Southeast Michigan.
I encourage everyone who may qualify for this program to learn about it. As we get older, staying in our community and in our own homes can become challenging, however, having the right healthcare and support services to do it without risking quality of life is key for living longer, healthier and happier. Thanks to the MI Health Link program and the listed health plans, some of the neediest Detroiters have a better option.
To learn more or get guidance and counseling, contact the Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) at 1-800-803-7174 (TTY: 711) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. To see if a loved one qualifies, contact Michigan ENROLLS at 1-800-975-7630 (TTY: 1-888-263-5897) from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Karen Love holds a Masters in Gerontology from University of Southern California and currently is Leader of the Senior Connection Ministry at Triumph Church. She is also a community outreach advocate for Michigan Complete Health.