How Could a Healthcare Overhaul Affect Michigan Insurance Companies?

HAP CEO Terri Kline

The possible repercussions of the U.S. Senate’s plan to overhaul the federal health care law are widespread. Almost 700,000 people would lose Medicaid coverage automatically in Michigan once major federal cuts to the program kick in.

Health providers have been weighing in about what it could mean for hospitals in Michigan. But what about insurance companies? What does the uncertainty surrounding health coverage mean for them?

Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson talks with Terri Kline, CEO at Health Alliance Plan (HAP) about this plan.

Today, 88 percent of the people in Michigan get their health insurance either through group coverage, Medicare, or Medicaid,” says Kline. “So that leaves 12 percent of the market that is either uninsured or has individual coverage and that’s really a part of the market that we’re focused on in all this legislation.”

According to Klein, the introduced legislation would transfer more responsibility to the state level, giving states more flexibility in overseeing and implementing Medicaid. This could be a positive transition if it wasn’t accompanied by a reduction in federal subsidies, she says.

In the individual market, there are clearly issues around the subsidies being discussed, which… technically would mean fewer people might have access to insurance that’s affordable. And really I think one of the issues that we sometimes lose sight of is that it’s not just insurance that people need, but it’s actually coverage.   If you have insurance with deductibles and co-insurances that are so high that you can’t afford them, you might have insurance, but not really have coverage.”

To hear the full conversation, click the audio player above.

Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

About the Author

Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.

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