michigan guide to health insurance

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Michigan health insurance exchange

MI sees 16 insurers, 4 new for 2015

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Michigan was the sixth most successful marketplace with 37.6 percent of eligible residents signing up for a qualified health plan during 2014 open enrollment.

The next open enrollment period begins Nov. 15, and federal officials say HealthCare.gov — the site used by Michiganders — will be better than last year’s version. Officials demonstrated the improved site for reporters on Oct. 8. The website and enrollment process have been enhanced and now feature faster performance, a shorter application, and easier access via mobile devices. Officials also said much more time is being spent on testing.

2014 enrollment recap

More than 272,500 Michigan residents signed up for qualified health plans. Eighty-seven percent qualified for financial assistance, compared to 85 percent nationally. An HHS report shows the average monthly premium, after tax credits, for Michigan consumers as $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.

Insurers and rates on 2015 exchange

Sixteen insurers will participate on the Michigan exchange for 2015 coverage, up from 12 in 2014 according to HHS. All insurers that participated in 2014 are staying in the marketplace for 2015, and four carriers are new. A June announcement from the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services shows that 16 companies plan to sell individual and family polices in 2015 and 11 intend to sell small business policies. (The June announcement from Michigan includes 18 companies that submitted filings.)

Final 2015 premiums have not been announced, but preliminary data gathered by PricewaterhouseCooper as of Sept. 25 shows an average increase of just 0.2 percent. The data looks at plans sold both on and off the marketplace. While the average increase is small, the range of premium changes is wide: -21.6 percent to 15.4 percent.

Michigan expands, reforms Medicaid

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, 2014. As of Oct. 6, 405,743 people had enrolled.

Background on Michigan’s exchange efforts

Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, supported a state-run exchange for Michigan. However, he did not have the support of enough fellow Republicans to move ahead.

The Michigan attorney general joined 25 other states in challenging the Affordable Care Act. The Senate passed a bill to authorize a state-run exchange, but bill was voted down by the House’s Health Policy committee and didn’t get a floor vote.

Eventually, the state moved ahead with a state-federal partnership. Michigan is responsible for plan management, but left all other functions to the federal government.

Michigan health insurance exchange links

HealthCare.gov
800-318-2596

Enroll Michigan
Statewide network of non-profit agencies providing free enrollment support services to health insurance consumers

Michigan Health Insurance Consumer Assistance Program (HICAP)
877-999-6442

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