Recognizing that many growing families need extra care and support, Michigan’s fastest-growing health plan, Priority Health, is partnering with the Metropolitan Detroit Diaper Bank to bring free diapers to families throughout Michigan.
Last year’s diaper distributions provided about 150,000 diapers and 1,500 wipe packs for nearly 2,000 children in Southeast Michigan, and about 50,000 diapers for 1,000 families in Southwest Michigan. The effort is part of Priority Health’s commitment to improving the health and well-being of communities, which include infants and children. Working with the Metropolitan Detroit Diaper Bank ensures that children will be clean, healthy and dry, and vulnerable families can have access to these basic necessities.
This year, between August and November, families in need of diapers will be able to participate in diaper distributions organized by three organizations in metro Detroit and Western Michigan, with the dates and locations to be set in the coming weeks.
“We’re excited to be partnering with the Metropolitan Detroit Diaper Bank to help support members,” said Priority Health community health worker Reginald Day, “and provide them with something that many people may need.”
During the pandemic, finances became even tighter for many families, and some were having to choose between the expense of diapers and basic necessities. Priority Health’s team recognized this was a stress and expense they could help to alleviate.
This year, the timing of the diaper drives coincides with another critical initiative for Priority Health. With the State of Michigan resuming Medicaid re-determination requirements this summer, the distributions are also an opportunity for Priority Health to educate members and the community at large about reapplying for benefits so they don’t experience a gap in coverage.
Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, Medicaid members have not had to renew their Medicaid benefits since 2020. With Medicaid eligibility and membership significantly increasing since then, Day said many Medicaid members may not be aware of what re-determination is and how it works.
During the re-determination process, Medicaid members must reapply and verify eligibility to keep their coverage. Day said Medicaid members should keep an eye out for a renewal packet in the mail, which will arrive prior to their renewal date. Renewal dates may look different from one member or family to another, so watching for communication is critical. Members enrolled in Michigan Medicaid health plans who have opted for paperless communication may also get a text notifying them of their upcoming renewal.
In addition, members can also log in to MI Bridges to receive renewal information. Medicaid members, regardless of their renewal date, should take the time to update their contact information and confirm their most recent address and phone number is on file, Day said. This is because members may lose Medicaid coverage if they don’t renew their information or couldn’t be contacted during their Medicaid re-enrollment period.
If Priority Health Choice, Inc. Medicaid members are no longer eligible for coverage, Priority Health can assist in identifying alternate affordable health care options.
“Some may be eligible for Medicare, or some may be eligible for different commercial and individual plans,” Day said. “It’s important to find out what their status is so we can know how to best assist our members.”
Priority Health is ready to help its members with all their needs, whether that’s receiving diapers at an upcoming diaper … event or navigating the Medicaid renewal process. “We’re looking forward to helping answer those questions,” Day said, “and keeping our communities healthy.”
To learn more about renewing Michigan Medicaid benefits through Priority Health, visit priorityhealth.com/michigan-medicaid/learningcenter/renew. Those no longer eligible for Medicaid can explore other affordable plan types or speak to a specialist at priorityhealth.com.