Michigan health insurance exchange
In Michigan, more than 40,000 apply for coverage in October
By Carla Anderson
December 6, 2013
The first comprehensive enrollment report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows that 44,025 Michigan residents applied for coverage between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2. About 1,330 have selected a private health insurance plan. Enrollment is expected to increase rapidly as the Dec. 23 deadline to purchase coverage for Jan. 1 approaches and as performance improves on HealthCare.gov. Jeff Zients, who is the Obama administration’s point person for fixing the website, said more than 400 fixes have been made to the website since Oct. 1.
Despite support for a state-run health insurance exchange from Republican Gov. Rick Synder, Michigan is operating a partnership exchange in collaboration with the federal government. Michigan oversees the health plans that participate in the exchange, while most other functions are managed by the federal government. Michigan residents use the federal website, HealthCare.gov, to compare and purchase coverage.
According to the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS), 13 health insurance companies are selling individual and family policies through the federal marketplace in Michigan. Collectively, the insurers are offering about 75 options, but not all options are available in all areas. The DIFS website includes a premium calculator that allows consumers to see the options and estimated costs in a given county. However, consumers must use HealthCare.gov when they are ready to
Four Michigan organizations received navigator grants to help consumers access and use the marketplace: Michigan Consumers for Healthcare, Community Bridges Management Inc., Arab Community Center for Economic & Social Services, and American Indian Health & Family Services of SE Michigan.
According to a report released by HHS, the average cost for a bronze plan —the lowest-cost option — in Michigan is $222 a month. The national average for a bronze policy is $249 a month.
According HHS more than 1.1 million people (14 percent of the population) in Michigan are uninsured and eligible to use the health insurance marketplace. Nearly 94 percent those uninsured in Michigan are likely to qualify for the expanded Medicaid program or for subsidies to help purchase coverage through the marketplace.
Open enrollment continues until March 31, 2014. Policies must be purchased by Dec. 23 for coverage to begin Jan. 1, 2014.
Michigan health insurance exchange links
State Exchange Profile: Michigan
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation overview of Michigan’s progress toward creating a state health insurance exchange.