News Flash

Health Department

Posted on: February 6, 2024

Children's Special Health Care Program Expands

MDHHS Children’s Special Health Care Services  expands

From the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services:

MDHHS Children’s Special Health Care Services expands to cover young adults until age 26

LANSING, Mich. – Young adults with special health care needs in Michigan will have increased access to care thanks to the expansion of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Children’s Special Health Care Services (CSHCS) program. 

Through a FY24 budget recommendation by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that was approved by the Michigan Legislature, coverage was extended from age 21 to age 26. This expansion is expected to provide coverage to an additional 9,000 individuals. MDHHS began processing enrollments for this newly eligible population last month. 

“Governor Whitmer continues to focus on improving public health and investments to make Michigan communities healthier,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “Expansion of Children’s Special Health Care Services will provide access to needed health services and specialty care for young adults with chronic or complex health conditions as they are more likely to have challenges accessing care.”

Children’s Special Health Care Services is a program that assists families with a child or young adult with a chronic or complex medical condition. It covers more than 2,700 physical conditions. In addition, it provides coverage to clients regardless of age with cystic fibrosis, hemophilia or sickle cell disease. In Michigan, more than 40,000 individuals, primarily children, are enrolled in the program.

“On behalf of Michigan’s epilepsy community, we are excited and grateful to see extended coverage of the Children’s Special Health Care Services program to age 26,” said Brianna Romines, Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan president. “Many youth with epilepsy receive coverage through this program and while this program previously ended at 21, managing their epilepsy and seizures continues on. We know that by extending this program, more youth with epilepsy and many other chronic medical conditions will have access to the comprehensive care needed to best manage their condition and live their best life.”

MDHHS encourages young adults with special health care needs to apply for coverage by contacting their local health department for assistance.

“The Children’s Special Health Care Services Detroit Local Health Department Office is excited and thrilled with the expansion of coverage for individuals with eligible chronic medical conditions up to the age of 26,” said Crystal Hepburn, BSN, RN, CCM, Children's Special Health Care Services program manager, Detroit Health Department. “This expansion continues to assist our program in addressing the health disparities within our community. Having equitable, accessible health care for our clients aids in the appropriate management of their diagnosis and affects the quality of life, increasing the opportunities for positive health outcomes. By increasing access to care and coverage, it decreases the financial stress and burden for clients in managing their chronic medical condition. We are delighted that our families will continue to have the wonderful support that they have come to know within our local health department until their family member reaches age 26.”

For more information on Children’s Special Health Care Services or the enrollment process, individuals should contact their local health department, the Children’s Special Health Care Services Family Phone Line at 800-359-3722 or on the MDHHS website.

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