Genesee County Considers Replacement for Genesee Health Plan

Genesee County Considers Replacement for Genesee Health Plan

Among the issues commissioners say have led to the stalemate is a provision of the most recent contract with GHP that excludes services to those incarcerated in the county jail, waiting for their cases to be resolved. “It’s starting to sound like to me that the Genesee Health Plan does not have the capacity to meet this community’s needs,” said Commissioner Domonique, D-Flint Twp. “I have some concerns about how things have been going with Genesee Health Plan (and) how inclusive they’ve been.”

MLive-The Flint Journal could not immediately reach Jim Milanowski, president and chief executive officer of GHP on Friday, April 16, but he said in an email to county commissioners this week that an amended contract with proposed changes, including removal of a clause that makes the incarcerated ineligible for services, should be postponed. The current millage to support the program is up for renewal in 2026. County officials say it generates more than $9 million annually.

GHP was created in 2001, according to Flint Journal files, and the organization was initially funded with grants from hospitals and foundations. In November 2006, voters approved a $1-mill countywide property tax to support health care programs for the working poor and commissioners contracted with GHP to administer the program. Commissioners said GHP could submit a proposal and be chosen to continue running the program but said greater coverage and transparency is needed.

Commissioners approved the amended contract, which would last until Sept. 1, at their meeting Wednesday and directed staff to prepare a request for proposals, opening up the job to other groups in the future. Milanowski’s email says GHP officials have “concerns and questions” about the changes the county has proposed and said they are “unable to sign the agreement” as written.

Young said the program has served fewer people since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law by former President Barack Obama but still has the potential to help those who fall between the cracks in the health care system. In the past, commissioners “just gave them the money with little accountability,” county board Chairman Mark Young, D-Grand Blanc.

Clemmons said commissioners “need to make sure we are good fiduciaries for the public money.” “These are public dollars … This money is the residents’ money. GHP is not entitled to these dollars,” he said. “I do believe that service is needed. (It’s) helped a lot of people over the years,” Young said. “(But) there’s been a lot of change (in health care) since that program came out.”

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