LANSING — Medical providers of behavioral health services in underserved areas of Michigan are now eligible for medical education loan repayment through the MI Kids Now Loan Repayment Program.

The program is a medical training debt repayment program that aims to incentivize behavioral health care providers to practice in underserved areas of Michigan. It is open to child and adult service providers, but the priority will be to provide debt relief to those caring for children.

The program aims to help schools and employers recruit and retain behavioral health providers who aim to continue to demonstrate their commitment to building a long-term behavioral health infrastructure in communities. The program offers participants up to $200,000 to pay off their student loan debt if they participate in the program for eight years.

Lindsay McLaughlin, acting director of the department’s Office of Coordinated Child Health Policy and Supports, said in a press release that improving access to behavioral health services for families and children in the The state “is a top priority” for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. .

“Children need both physical and behavioral health services so they have the best opportunity to grow into healthy, successful adults,” McLaughlin said. “Creating the MI Kids Now Reimbursement Program is one way MDHHS will address this important need.”


The program is available to behavioral health providers, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, therapists, and board-certified behavior analysts.

Eligible providers must provide behavioral health services in public clinic or school systems located in health professional shortage areas.

Providers and employers can determine if a practice site is located in a shortage area by entering its address on the Federal Health Resources and Services Administration website at Find Shortage Areas, located at data .hrsa.gov/tools/shortage-area.

The application cycle for the MI Kids Now Loan Repayment Program is open until July 29. More program information, resources, applications, and application instructions can be found on the MI Kids Now Loan Repayment Program website.

Behavioral health providers are encouraged to review materials in advance and submit requests when the cycle begins.

Suppliers who have questions or need more information can contact Reanna Kathawa at kathawar@michigan.gov.