In brief

More cost-effective Michigan Medicaid treatment with approval expected

LANSING — Michigan will experience more affordable prescription-based treatment for Medicaid beneficiaries under federal approval announced today of the state’s plan to incentivize drug manufacturers to provide more effective medications.

Michigan became the second state – joining Oklahoma – to gain federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approval to move forward with negotiating contracts with drug manufacturers that are based on patient outcomes.

The amendment to Michigan’s Medicaid State Plan addresses the impact that innovative and costly new drug therapies are having on state Medicaid programs nationwide. States are required to cover the cost of all products with federal Medicaid rebates. Under outcomes-based contract arrangements, drug manufacturers would be liable for increased supplemental rebate payments to the Medicaid program if the drug did not perform as claimed.

MDHHS’s Medical Services Administration submitted the proposed Michigan Medicaid State Plan Amendment to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Sept. 25. It was approved today, with an effective date of Sept. 30. — G.G.

Michigan Education Trust to reopen for enrollment during holiday season

LANSING — The Michigan Education Trust (MET) Board of Directors announced today that the state’s prepaid college tuition program will reopen enrollment on Dec. 1, allowing holiday gift buyers to purchase or contribute toward a child’s 529 prepaid tuition contract and qualify for a deduction on their Michigan tax return.

“The reopening of enrollment is perfectly timed,” said Robin Lott, executive director of the 529 prepaid tuition program administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury. “Not only does it give grandparents and others the opportunity to contribute to a child’s future college education – the gift that lasts a lifetime – but it also allows them to meet the deadline to qualify for a Michigan tax deduction.”

Lott said that gift givers can purchase a new MET prepaid tuition contract in a child’s name or contribute money toward an existing contract.

She also noted that contract holders qualify for a tax deduction on their Michigan tax returns for purchases or contributions made by Dec. 31.

MET closes enrollment for a period each year in order to review and adjust pricing. During that time, it does not sell new contracts.

The 529 prepaid tuition program also announced that its contract purchase prices will remain unchanged until May 1, 2019. On that date, prices will increase 3 percent for full- and limited-benefits contracts and 7 percent for community college contracts. Those prices will remain in effect through Sept. 30, 2019.

That means, for example, that until May 1, purchasers of Pay-As-You-Go contracts will continue to pay $594 for a credit hour of tuition under a full-benefits contract, which guarantees full payment of tuition and mandatory fees at any Michigan public university; $479 per credit hour under a limited-benefits contract, which covers up to 105 percent of the weighted average tuition of Michigan’s public four-year universities; and $111 per credit hour for a community college contract.

MET also sells contracts through lump-sum and monthly purchase plans that require minimum purchases of a semester’s worth of tuition.

Details: Visit SETwithMET.com or call 800-MET-4- KID. — G.G.

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