Michigan House Passes Bill To Limit Insurance Rate Increases
The Michigan House on Wednesday voted 89-17 to approve bills that would limit how much for-profit health insurers could increase their rates during policy renewals, the Detroit News reports. The bills, introduced earlier this month, also would require health insurers to contribute to a pool administered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan that would cover the health expenses of individuals who cannot afford health insurance.
In addition, the legislation would enable the Accident Fund,the for-profit subsidiary of BCBS, to sell other types of insurancebesides workers' compensation. BCBS said that the bills are needed tolimit for-profit insurers from insuring only the healthiest individualswhile leaving BCBS, the state's insurer of last resort, to providecoverage to the state's sickest residents. BCBS also said the billswould limit for-profit insurers' practice of drastically increasingpremiums for members after they develop an illness.
Privateinsurers lobbied against the bills by forming the Coalition for Accessand Affordability in Michigan. The coalition said that it objects tothe legislation because it opposes the creation of a risk pool, and thebills would reduce state oversight of BCBS rate increases, according tospokesperson Denise DeCook. The bill now goes to a state Senatecommittee (Kosmetatos, Detroit News, 10/25).
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