Michigan Governor Whitmer orders health insurance companies to help lower health insurance costs for Michiganders under the Inflation Reduction Act

LANSING, Michigan, August 19 — Manager Gretchen WhitmerD-Michiganissued the following news release and letter to August 18, 2022:

Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter directing to Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) to require Michigan health insurance companies to reduce previously filed health insurance rates for 2023. This is possible because of an extension of premium subsidies under the Inflation Reduction Act that already nearly save enrolled Michigan residents 800 dollars year for health insurance. Governor Whitmer advocated extending these critical subsidies for months, and her administration will continue to work with federal partners and insurers to lower costs for families.

“Michigan residents need high-quality, affordable health care more than ever,” said Governor Whitmer. “That’s why I was proud to stand with my fellow governors to ask for an extension of these critical subsidies that save hundreds of thousands of Michiganders on average 800 dollars per year and why I was pleased to see the cost savings signed into law as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. I will work with anyone to reduce families’ costs of health care, prescription drugs and other kitchen table essentials. Let’s work together to lower people’s premiums and put money back in their pockets.”

“Pursuant to the governor’s directive, DIFS is issuing guidance requiring insurers to submit health insurance rate revisions reflecting appropriate actuarially justified reductions,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Extending America’s bailout subsidies through 2025 means more people, including middle-income families, will be able to afford health insurance. For more information about health insurance, contact DIFS at 877-999-6442 or visit Michigan.gov/HealthInsurance for more information.”

The bipartisan Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 signed by President Biden earlier this week would cut health care, prescription drug and energy costs. One key provision is the expansion of subsidies for consumers who buy coverage on Health insurance market. Created under the Affordable Care Act and later expanded by the America’s Rescue Plan, these subsidies have enabled 4 out of 5 enrolled Americans to find health coverage for less than $10 per month on HealthCare.gov. So far in 2022, more than 260,000 Michiganders have benefited from extended tax credits, saving them an average of 800 dollars annually.

In addition to the direct monthly savings they offer, extending these subsidies for the upcoming open enrollment period will reduce the overall cost of plans through 2023. These subsidies make getting health insurance a more affordable and therefore more attractive option even for people with lower expected health needs. As healthier people sign up for health insurance, the overall risk for health insurers improves and under Governor Whitmer directive, insurers are required to pass on these savings to Michigan families when they buy a policy on Health insurance market later this year.

Open enrollment for health insurance for 2023 is currently scheduled to begin on November 1, 2022. Michiganders can get coverage by visiting Health insurance market or by calling 800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). During open enrollment, Michiganders will be able to choose from 233 Marketplace health plans, 59 more than last year. For the total individual market, which includes non-market plans, 308 plans will be available, up 52 from last year.

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August 18, 2022

To: Director Anita Fox, Department of Insurance and Financial Services, PO Box 30220, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7720

Dear Director Fox:

I am writing today to guide Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) to require health insurers selling policies to Health insurance market to introduce rate revisions in light of the recently signed Inflation Reduction Act. The new law expanded the insurance premium subsidies that currently nearly save hundreds of thousands of Michiganders 800 dollars annually. I have been advocating for months to extend these life-saving subsidies, and I am proud that they were included in the law.

In addition to expanding health insurance premium subsidies for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders, the Inflation Reduction Act would reduce prescription drug, health care and energy costs, offer a middle-class tax credit to help families buy electric vehicles manufactured in Michiganand creates millions of manufacturing jobs.

The renewed availability of the enhanced subsidies means that many Michiganders who buy health insurance coverage on the Marketplace can take advantage of lower premiums. Subsidies first extended by the America’s Rescue Plan helped 80 percent of enrolled Americans find health coverage for less than $10 per month on HealthCare.gov. Extending these subsidies will mean lower risks for insurers and lead to direct savings for Michigan families.

Today, I am directing DIFS to require all insurers that offer coverage on HealthCare.gov to submit revised rates that reflect the cost savings resulting from the increased subsidies. I am grateful for the partnership between my administration and health insurers that provide Michiganders with access to affordable coverage.

Thank you in advance for making sure our health insurance companies comply with all savings transfer efforts Michigan families. Let’s continue to find ways to lower costs for Michiganders.

At your disposal,

Gretchen Whitmergovernor of Michigan

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Original text here: https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/MIEOG/2022/08/18/file_attachments/2248146/IRA%20Letter%208.18.22.pdf

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