What is MichCare?

MichCare is a state-level single-payer, Medicare-for-All style healthcare plan in Michigan. It is a sensible, cost-effective solution to guarantee affordable and accessible health care for all. Under MichCare, everyone will pay their fair share, and words like “premiums,” “deductibles,”“co-pays,” and “out of network” will become history—and nobody will be denied the care that they deserve.

What will MichCare mean for ME?

The average Michigan family (two parents and their child, making Michigan’s average salary of $48,432 a year) will save almost $5,000 a year between insurance, out-of-pocket health costs, and auto insurance under MichCare. Under MichCare, a patient’s health insurance will also be comprehensive, portable, and permanent. That means Michiganders will have continuous coverage even when they change jobs. 


You can read how MichCare will affect you, your family, or your business by checking out our "How will MichCare affect you page?" by clicking below.

Is MichCare the same as “Medicare-for-All”?

MichCare is a single-payer healthcare plan. That means that the state of Michigan, rather than private insurance companies, would provide health insurance to Michiganders. Single-payer is sometimes called “Medicare-for-All.” Right now, Michiganders over age 65 and those on Social Security disability already qualify for Medicare, a single-payer plan for seniors and the disabled supported by the  federal government. MichCare expands the promise of Medicare to all Michiganders, whether they are millennials jumping between jobs, parents  working hard to make ends meet, or seniors struggling to pay for their prescriptions. All Michiganders deserve the added security and cost savings a single-payer plan can provide.


Michigan’s health insurance system is broken. Nearly 600,000 Michiganders still lack health insurance coverage. Health costs have spiraled out of control, forcing 1 in 4 Michigan households to pay more than 10% of their total income to cover out-of-pocket health expenses.  Uninsured and underinsured families across Michigan are suffering under an unacceptable status quo. Passing state-level single-payer healthcare would also help solve other key problems Michiganders face - these include out-of-control auto insurance costs and prescription drug costs.

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Who is covered by MichCare?

All Michigan residents—children and adults—will be covered by MichCare until age 65. At age 65 Medicare coverage will begin, just as it does now. However, MichCare will continue to support seniors over 65 by providing additional coverage for prescription drugs, vision, and dental, as well as negotiating down their prescription drug costs. Between MichCare and Medicare, this means that all Michigan residents are guaranteed health coverage from the day they are born until the day they die.


What does MichCare cover? 

MichCare covers a comprehensive set of benefits based on the essential health benefits outlined by the Affordable Care Act. These include:

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The complete list of MichCare covered benefits include: outpatient care, emergency services, hospitalizations, maternity and newborn care, reproductive services and family planning, outpatient and inpatient mental healthcare, substance abuse treatment and services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services, laboratory services, preventive/wellness services, chronic disease management, pediatric services, vision care and dental care.

How do I enroll in MichCare?

All Michigan residents would be enrolled automatically in MichCare at birth. Michiganders who are transitioning from private insurance to MichCare will submit a simple application to enroll. Currently uninsured Michiganders would enroll using this same process. All Medicaid and CHIP recipients would be automatically transitioned to the MichCare plan.

How much will Michcare cost?

MichCare will save the average Michigan family almost $5,000 a year between insurance, out-of-pocket health costs, and auto insurance savings. We estimate that the state, overall, will achieve approximately 9% cost savings in healthcare expenditures.

How WIll We pay for Michcare?

Much like Medicare today, everyone will pay into the MichCare system via payroll and business taxes, and everyone will benefit when they seek care. If you are an individual, you will see an item for MichCare on your paystubs, like you currently do for Medicare and Social Security.

Unlike most current insurance plans, under MichCare you will not need to pay out-of-pocket for medically necessary services. MichCare will cover those costs so you can focus on getting the care you need. You will never have to haggle with an insurance company or fill out unnecessary paperwork again.


Is MichCare a realistic plan for Michigan?

Critics say that single-payer plans are unrealistic. As a doctor, former public health professor, and former health commissioner, I can assure you that they’re wrong. Every single high-income society in the world except for ours has been able to secure the benefits of universal healthcare for their communities, and now a majority of Americans are in favor of a single-payer health system. Critics who say single-payer healthcare is politically impossible are usually beholden to corporate lobbies or lack the political will to achieve such transformative change. Our campaign cannot be bought and sold, and we know that a people-powered campaign allows us to stand up to the special interests who tell us universal healthcare is just a lofty dream. Together, we will make MichCare a reality. 

Can Michigan afford MichCare?  

Yes. Opponents ask how we can afford a single-payer plan, but we need to remember that the most expensive option is keeping the broken system we have now. Between rising premiums and deductibles paid by individuals and families, employer contributions, and government funding for programs like Medicaid and Medicare, we’re already paying the staggering costs of inefficient, inequitable healthcare every day. MichCare would consolidate those different streams into a single, efficient system. Lower overall healthcare costs mean a more affordable health system—for families, for businesses, and for Michigan as a whole.

Will Michcare mean that the state controls healthcare?

No. Under MichCare, hospitals, doctors, nurses, and healthcare providers would stay private. In fact, you would have more choice; under MichCare you would have access to an extensive network of providers, and you wouldn’t have to fight with your insurance company about whether or not it will cover services from the doctor of your choice. You control your healthcare; MichCare makes sure you can pay for it.

Will Michcare be my only option for health insurance?

 No. You will still be allowed to purchase a health insurance plan that is supplemental to MichCare (as people often do for their Medicare coverage) out of your own income, or through your employer or union. MichCare by design will be comprehensive, but we understand that sometimes people may choose to seek something they feel is more than comprehensive. 

Furthermore, MichCare will not prohibit the sale of other insurance plans (even if they are redundant with the services covered by MichCare), so employers who want to offer something completely separate from MichCare will still be allowed to do so.

What will MichCare mean for my appointments with doctors I currently see?

If a doctor accepts any money from MichCare, they cannot deny patients on the basis of their MichCare insurance status. Since a majority of the Michigan population would be covered by MichCare, this would mean that nearly all doctors in Michigan will accept MichCare.

Interested in more? 

Check out the full MichCare plan by clicking below.