LANSING (WILX)-- Starting Tuesday many residents are one step closer to a healthier Michigan.
Thousands signed up for Michigan's medicaid expansion within the first few hours Tuesday.
Half-a-million people in Michigan are eligible.
For some, it's a day they have been desperately waiting for.
"I got a shoulder incident recently an I want to make sure I have medical insurance because I don't want to be paying all out of pocket," said Keenan Frosyth, who signed up Tuesday.
Around 6,000 people signed up by noon Tuesday for the program. But unlike Forsyth, who went to the Department of Human Services to sign up, most applicants are being done online.
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There have been some glitches with the website. Some of the applicants had problems with running into an "error" page after filling in information. But with persistence most people have been able to get through the process.
"We're just at the start of things here. We know there will be some bumps along the way. We realize that you can't have any kind of rollout like this without some expectation of what you can plan for and what comes out of the blue. So far, so good," said Dave Akerly, spokesperson for the Department of Human Services.
Adults for the Healthy Michigan Plan must be between the ages of 19-64, not currently eligible for Medicaid, not eligible for or enrolled in Medicare, and earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (approximately $16,000 for an individual and $33,000 for a family of four).
To sign up it takes an average of thirty minutes to complete.
"You can determine once you submit your application instantaneously if you are eligible or not. Within 3 -5 days you'll begin receiving information in the mail about how to enroll in a health plan, but you'll already have coverage," said Angela Minicuci, spokesperson for Michigan Department of Community Health.
It's estimated more than 320,000 Michiganders will enroll during the first year.
You can sign up by phone (855) 789-5610, online, or in person at your local DHS office.