Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services to Evaluate Health Insurance Costs for Residents


The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) today announced it is soliciting health insurance CEOs and presidents to find innovative ideas to study to help stabilize the market and lower health insurance costs for Michigan residents.

A component of Michigan’s 2019 budget, which was recently signed into law, included a one-time appropriation for DIFS to complete an actuarial study capable of supporting Michigan’s pursuit of an Affordable Care Act Section 1332 State Innovation Waiver. Under Section 1332, a state can apply for a waiver of certain components of federal health insurance law to promote innovative approaches to lower health insurance costs in the market.

“While the most common waiver sought has been for some form of a reinsurance program, there are other programs states could pursue,” says Patrick McPharlin, director of DIFS. “I am asking these insurers to submit their recommendations on a potential reinsurance program, and any other waiver ideas they think DIFS should study.”

Upon receiving recommendations, a mathematical and statistical study of risks and premiums in the commercial health insurance market will be conducted. The study will include analyses, actuarial certifications, data, assumptions, targets, and other information sufficient to determine whether the proposed waiver would provide health coverage that is at least as comprehensive and affordable, cover at least as many residents, and not increase the federal deficit.

Prior to submitting a State Innovation Waiver application to the federal government for review and consideration, DIFS must provide public notice and a comment period to ensure public input on the application. During the public comment period, the state must conduct public hearings regarding the application. In addition, a state with one or more federally recognized tribes within its borders must conduct a separate process for consultation with the tribes as part of the notice and comment process.

More information can be found here, as well as on the DIFS Twitter and Facebook pages.

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