My fiancee is on Medicaid. Toward the end of her pregnancy she said that Medicaid would not cover our baby if he had my last name. At the time I didn’t question her because she said once we were married we could change his name to mine. Now everyone is telling me that is not true. Who is right?
Your question is about Medicaid eligibility for your newborn son.
Medicaid eligibility in Michigan is primarily based on income. There are three primary sources of state funded insurance for children: Healthy Kids, MIChild and Children’s Special Health Care Services (CSHCS).
Healthy Kids is an insurance program for low income children and pregnant mothers. There is no monthly premium for Healthy Kids. Healthy Kids provides a comprehensive package of health care benefits including vision, dental, and mental health services. There is no requirement that the child have (or not have) a certain parent’s last name to receive these benefits.
MIChild is for low income uninsured children of Michigan’s working families. Beneficiaries receive a comprehensive package of health care benefits including vision, dental, and mental health services. There is only an income test for MIChild benefits.
CSHCS provides certain approved medical service coverage to some children and adults with special health care needs. Again, there is no requirement of parentage to receive these benefits.
I am not aware of any requirement that the child take one parent’s last name over the others to receive government benefits. If your fiancée is fleeing the state, you should petition for custody as soon as possible to assert your rights to parent your child.
Although I practice law in Michigan, I cannot give you legal advice without thoroughly reviewing your case. Do not rely on this information as establishing an attorney-client relationship. Contact an attorney immediately for assistance. Cordell & Cordell does represent clients in Michigan.
Jill A. Duffy is an Associate Attorney in the Troy, Mich., office of Cordell & Cordell. She is licensed to practice in the state of Michigan. Ms. Duffy received her BA in Psychology and Spanish and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oakland University. She received her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law and graduated Magna Cum Laude.