Michigan sees strong insurers participation in the 2018 Marketplace

(Lansing, MI – Insurance News and Markets) – On Sept. 1, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) announced that consumers will continue to have a choice of many insurers offering health insurance through the Marketplace for the 2018 plan year.

“Despite the uncertainty at the federal level, Michigan still has a number of companies participating this year, providing many choices for Michigan consumers,” said DIFS Director Patrick McPharlin. “Residents of every county in the state will be able to choose from at least two insurers, while some counties will have as many as eight or nine.”

DIFS released the Michigan Health Insurance Rate Change Request Charts for both individual and small group policies, information that is published annually to show proposed average rate changes. The proposed rate increases for plan year 2018 range from 16.5% to 59.4%.

The increases are partially explained by uncertainty related to the cost sharing reduction (CSR) payments called for in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires that insurers help individuals who earn up to  250 percent of the federal poverty level and eligible American Indians.  The CSR payments allow insurers to meet that legal obligation without increasing rates.

DIFS has required insurers to submit two sets of rates for 2018,  a set with the assumption that there will be no CSFR payments, and a second set that includes  funding of DIFS has proactively required insurers to submit two sets of rates for 2018.

“If we receive a commitment that the CSR payments will be made, we are hopeful insurers will be allowed to change to the lower set of rates,” McPharlin said.

DIFS is seeking public comment on these proposed rates. Comments submitted prior to September 15, 2017 will be considered in DIFS’ review.  Comments should be sent electronically to HealthRateComments@michigan.gov.

Open enrollment for 2018 begins on November 1, 2017 and continues through December 15, 2017. Consumers are encouraged to contact their insurer, agent, or navigator regarding these proposed rates. There are also shopping tools, rate comparisons and resources available on the DIFS Health Insurance Consumer Assistance Program’s (HICAP) website, www.michigan.gov/hicap and the Healthcare.gov website.

Source: Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS).