While Michigan Health Link is not strictly for seniors, it does provide services and supports that are beneficial to the aging population of Michigan. It is a managed care program that coordinates the benefits of both Medicaid and Medicare. In addition to the medical benefits available through Medicare, MI Health Link provides home and community-based services through the MI Health Link HCBS Waiver portion of the program. The focus of this guide is on the HCBS Waiver.
The non-medical supports provided by the MI Health Link HCBS Waiver help beneficiaries remain living at home rather than move into an institutional setting. HCBS Waiver benefits include personal care assistance, adult day care, home modifications, and meal delivery, among others. All Medicaid and Medicare services and supports provided through MI Health Link, including HCBS Waiver benefits, are delivered by Integrated Care Organizations (ICOs) and existing Prepaid Inpatient Health Plans (PIHPs).
Unfortunately, Health Link is not currently available statewide. However, it is available in 25 counties within the state. These include Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, Macomb, St. Joseph, Van Buren, Wayne and any county in the Upper Peninsula.
In order to be eligible for the MI Health Link program, one must:
As of 2023, in order to be eligible for the Health Link HCBS Waiver portion of the program, an individual must not have monthly income in excess of $2,742, which is 300% of the Federal Benefit Rate.
For couples, when both spouses are applying, each spouse is allowed up to $2,742 a month in income. However, when only one spouse is applying, only the applicant spouse’s income is considered. In addition, to prevent the non-applicant spouse from having insufficient income, the applicant spouse can transfer a portion of their income to the non-applicant spouse – referred to as a spousal income allowance. As of 2023, the maximum spousal income allowance is $3,715 a month.
A single applicant must not have assets over $2,000. The asset limit for a married couple with both spouses applying is $3,000. When only one spouse is applying, the non-applicant spouse is allowed up to $148,620 in assets.
Some assets, such as an individual’s primary home, are considered exempt. This is given the individual (or his or her spouse) lives in the home and the equity value is not over $688,000. Additional exempt assets include household furnishings, personal items, such as a wedding ring, and a vehicle.
Being over the income or asset limit does not automatically disqualify one from Medicaid. However, in instances such as these, consulting a professional Medicaid planner is highly advised. Learn more here.
All benefits that are covered by Medicaid and Medicare Parts A, B, and D are covered by MI Health Link. Benefits and services specific to the MI Health Link HCBS Waiver include the following:
One must be enrolled in both Medicaid and Medicare to be eligible for MI Health Link. If one is not enrolled in Medicaid, they should contact their local Health and Human Resources county office. Click here for a list of offices. For information about enrolling in Medicare, click here.
In most cases, eligible applicants will receive a letter from Michigan ENROLLS instructing them on how to enroll in this program. Often times, individuals are passively enrolled when they don’t contact Michigan ENROLLS to opt out of the program within 60 days of receipt of the letter. However, individuals may also choose to actively enroll in the program and choose their health plan. Or they can opt out of the program completely. One can also call MI ENROLLS at 800-975-7630 to enroll in this program.
Learn more about the MI Health Link program here.