LANSING, MICHIGAN – November 3, 2016 – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) today submitted a request for federal assistance to expand lead abatement activities in the state. Through an amendment of its Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) State Plan, Michigan is requesting funding for a Health Services Initiative to help mitigate lead exposure and its long-term health effects.
“This Health Services Initiative will allow us to provide additional lead abatement services to families in Flint and other areas of the state where children and families have lead hazards in their homes,” said Nick Lyon, director of the MDHHS. “Preventing lead exposure is an important part of looking at health globally and addressing the role environmental factors have in health outcomes. I look forward to our continued work with our federal partners on this program.”
The amendment seeks to use funding to provide lead abatement services to eligible properties. CHIP funding is through Title XXI funding and not a Medicaid funding source. The total amount that would be available for the program in FY17 is $23.8 million, of which, the federal match is 98.61 percent for FY17. Michigan would contribute about $330,000 in General Fund.
Services would include permanent removal, enclosure, or encapsulation of lead based paint and lead dust hazards; removal and replacement of surfaces or fixtures; and the removal or covering of soil lead hazards. In Flint, the program would also include the replacement of the exterior lead service lines that supply drinking water to the home. Residences outside of Flint would also be eligible for faucet, fixture and lead service line replacement on a case-by-case basis, as indicated by water testing results.
If approved, residents may be eligible for expanded abatement services if there is a Medicaid or CHIP eligible person, a child younger than 19, or pregnant woman living in the home. Eligible properties in Flint will receive priority status, and upon federal approval of the amendment, MDHHS will identify other high-risk communities to engage for this preventive health program and begin the process of conducting abatement work. Residents of all other communities may participate if they are otherwise eligible, and have a blood lead level greater than or equal to five micrograms per deciliter.
For more information about Flint-related water issues, visit www.michigan.gov/flintwater.
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