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Michigan health insurance exchange

Michiganers sign up for 272,539 QHPs; 87% qualify for subsidies

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Obamacare enrollment in Michigan has ended for 2014. However, people who get married or divorced, change jobs, have a child or experience another qualifying event may be eligible for a special enrollment period. Enrollment for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) continues throughout the year. Individuals who don’t have health insurance that provides “minimum essential coverage” may have to pay a penalty: $95 or one percent of income, whichever is greater.

Open enrollment for 2015 coverage through the marketplace begins Nov. 15. Michigan operates 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 plans and purchase coverage.

Signups for qualified health plans (QHPs) in Michigan grew 88 percent between March 1 and April 19, ending at 272,539. In addition to those who signed up for private health insurance, more than 67,000 people qualified for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) under the current eligibility criteria.

Among Michigan residents selecting a QHP, 87 percent qualified for financial assistance, compared to 85 percent nationally. A report released in June by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed the average monthly premium, after tax credits, for Michigan consumers was $97. Thirty-nine percent of enrollees pay $50 or less per month after subsidies.

Thirteen percent of Michigan residents selected a bronze plan (20 percent nationally), 75 percent selected a silver plan (65 percent nationally), 9 percent selected a gold plan (9 percent nationally), 2 percent selected a platinum plan (5 percent nationally) and 2 percent selected a catastrophic plan (2 percent nationally). Twenty-eight percent of Michigan enrollees were between the ages of 18 and 34.

Early indications are that Michigan residents will have more options, but higher premiums in 2015. The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services received applications from 16 companies that plan to sell individual and family polices in 2015. That’s up from 13 in 2014. On average, proposed premiums are 2.2 percent higher. However, the average hides some wide variations. Some insurers — including some with the top-selling plans in 2014 — are proposing increases of around 10 percent. In contrast, one plan has proposed at 21.5 percent cut. The rates will not be finalized until both Michigan and federal officials complete reviews; that process may not be complete until sometime in the fall.

At the end of 2013, Michigan received federal approval to expand and reform its Medicaid program. Within the state, the program is known as Healthy Michigan. The state needed special approval for new cost-sharing requirements. Enrollees with incomes between 100 to 133 percent of the federal poverty level must contribute up to 2 percent of their income to health savings accounts that will be administered by the state. The expansion extends eligibility to about 470,000 people who did not previously qualify for Medicaid. Enrollment for the Healthy Michigan expansion started April 1. By mid-June, more than 300,000 people have applied for coverage.

To be eligible for the Healthy Michigan plan, an individual must meet the following criteria:

  • Age 19 to 64
  • At or below 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL), which is about $15,000 a year for a single person or $34,000 for a family of four
  • A resident of Michigan
  • Not eligible or enrolled in Medicaid or Medicare
  • Not pregnant when applying for the plan

Apply online at mibridges.michigan.gov, by phone at 855-789-5610 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, or in person at Michigan Department of Human Services offices and federally qualified health centers.

Michigan health insurance exchange links


Michigan Health Insurance Consumer Assistance Program (HICAP)

State Exchange Profile: Michigan
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation overview of Michigan’s progress toward creating a state health insurance exchange.