MI Health Link

Published on
August 1, 2023
Last updated
February 29, 2024
Written by
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Katie Wilkinson
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MI Health Link is Michigan's integrated care program for dual eligibles, providing comprehensive healthcare coordination and support, including potential compensation for family caregivers.
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Medicaid plays a crucial role in providing healthcare assistance to low-income individuals, and when combined with Medicare, it serves a unique population known as "dual eligibles." These individuals often face challenges navigating the complex healthcare system and obtaining the needed services. To address these issues, Michigan has introduced the MI Health Link program, which seeks to integrate care for dual eligibles, streamlining services and improving overall healthcare outcomes.

Overview of the MI Health Link Program

The MI Health Link program is a groundbreaking initiative introduced by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to enhance healthcare coordination and services for a specific group of individuals known as "dual eligibles." Dual eligibles are individuals who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, and their healthcare needs are often complex and challenging to manage due to the fragmented nature of the two programs.

The primary purpose of MI Health Link is to integrate care for dual eligibles, bridging the gap between Medicare and Medicaid services. By doing so, the program aims to improve the quality of care, increase accessibility to essential services, and enhance overall health outcomes for this vulnerable population. The program operates in designated regions of Michigan, including the Upper Peninsula, Southwestern Michigan, and Metro Detroit.

Through MI Health Link, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the state collaborate to create a demonstration project that streamlines administrative processes, reduces paperwork burdens, and facilitates better communication between the two programs. By achieving these goals, MI Health Link intends to achieve cost savings for the federal government and the state of Michigan while providing dual eligibles with more efficient, person-centered healthcare. Moreover, the program seeks to recognize the vital role of family caregivers within the healthcare system and address their compensation concerns to create a more equitable and supportive environment for this dedicated workforce.


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Eligibility Requirements for MI Health Link Program

To be eligible for the MI Health Link program, individuals must meet specific criteria to identify dual eligibles who will benefit from integrated care and enhanced support. Here are the eligibility requirements:

  1. Dual Eligibility: Applicants must be eligible for Medicare (Part A) and enrolled in Medicare Parts B and D.
  2. Full Medicaid Benefits: Individuals must receive full Medicaid benefits, indicating low-income status and financial need.
  3. Age Requirement: Applicants should be at least 21 years old.
  4. Geographical Location: Currently, the program is available to dual eligibles residing in some areas of Michigan, including the Upper Peninsula, Southwestern Michigan, and Metro Detroit.
  5. Exclusions: Some individuals are not eligible for MI Health Link, such as those previously disenrolled due to Special Disenrollment from Medicaid managed care, individuals with Additional Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary/Qualified Individual (ALMB/QI) status, recipients of Medicaid with a spend-down, and those receiving hospice services.

By meeting these criteria, eligible individuals can access the benefits and support provided by MI Health Link, leading to better-coordinated healthcare and improved outcomes for dual eligibles and their families.

Services and Supports under MI Health Link Program

The MI Health Link program offers a comprehensive range of services and supports tailored to meet the specific needs of dual-eligible individuals, ensuring coordinated and person-centered care. These services aim to enhance overall healthcare outcomes, improve accessibility, and promote the well-being of participants. Key benefits and supports available under MI Health Link include:

  1. Care Coordination: Participants receive personalized services with a care coordinator to help manage and navigate their healthcare needs effectively.
  2. Medical Care: Access to various medical services, including doctor visits, specialist consultations, preventive care, and hospitalization.
  3. Prescription Drug Coverage: Comprehensive coverage for prescription medications to manage various health conditions.
  4. Behavioral Health Services: Mental health and substance abuse treatment services are available to address behavioral health concerns.
  5. Long-Term Services and Supports: Assistance with activities and long-term care services, such as home care, personal care, and skilled nursing facility care.
  6. Home and Community-Based Services: Support to enable individuals to live in their homes and communities, including home modifications, personal emergency response systems, and respite care.
  7. Dental Services: Coverage for essential dental services, including preventive care and treatment.
  8. Vision and Hearing Services: Access to vision and hearing screenings and services.
  9. Transportation Assistance: Help with transportation to medical appointments and healthcare facilities.
  10. Nutritional Support: Nutritional counseling and assistance programs to ensure a healthy diet.
  11. Family Caregiver Support: Recognition and support for family caregivers may include financial compensation for caregiving services.

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Compensation for Family Caregivers

Under the MI Health Link program, compensation for unpaid family caregivers is available through a self-directed option. This innovative approach empowers family members to serve as caregivers for their loved ones and receive payment for the care they provide. The self-directed option allows eligible care recipients greater control over their care by choosing their caregivers, family members, or friends. These caregivers can then receive financial compensation for their services, acknowledging their invaluable role in supporting the health and well-being of dual-eligible individuals. This financial assistance serves as a recognition of the crucial contribution made by family caregivers and helps alleviate some of the financial burdens they may face while providing care.

Learn more about Medicaid self-directed care >>

A note from Givers

Family caregivers play an indispensable role in the lives of dual-eligible individuals, providing much-needed care and support. MI Health Link's self-directed option allows these caregivers to be recognized and compensated for their dedication. If you are a family caregiver in Michigan, fill out this form to determine your eligibility for compensation and access the support you deserve.

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