KENT COUNTY, Mich. -- Scott Gillman, CEO of Network 180, said budget cuts are in the works for the agency. This affects mental health services.
"Fundamentally, there's been a huge shift in people's insurance status in Michigan," Gillman said.
He said he's strictly referring to Medicaid and how people all over the state are switching to the "Healthy Michigan Plan" from "Disabled, Aged and Blind" plan or DAB.
As a result, Gillman said, "The reimbursement we receive for Healthy Michigan is about 80% less."
He said the agency is in the process of making $9.7 million in cuts. That started with eliminating 35 full time jobs. Of that, 16 people have been laid off. The other positions are vacant.
But Gillman said that's not nearly enough of a reduction to make up for the deficit. So program cuts are next.
"Clients will still get what they're entitled to get. We have to fight for that, and we have to protect that," Gillman explained.
But he said discretionary services, like the Hispanic outreach worker and clubhouses for the mentally ill will be done away with.
Advocate Marianne Huff said, "It's a very complicated issue. But I think what's missing is telling people what they can do. How do we advocate?"
Gillman said people have the right to switch to the "Healthy Michigan Plan" but said the funding formula needs to be updated. He said it takes the state two years to do that but feels the state should expedite the process.