Hundreds of thousands of low income Michiganders have signed up for affordable health insurance thanks to Obamacare. Thousands more have received subsidies through the healthcare exchange, bought coverage despite having a pre-existing condition, or stayed on their parents’ insurance up to age 26. Still, others complain their insurance rates have jumped in recent years.
Dizzy Warren, executive director of Enroll Michigan tells Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson that Michigan currently has, “an uninsured rate of only about five percent of Michigan residents, which is amazing when you consider that shortly before that it was around 14 percent,” says Warren. ”So that shows that people needed the insurance and when they had the opportunity to get it they went for it.”
Warren addresses some of the criticisms of the Affordable Care Act, such as rising premiums, by explaining that ”you have to have a very local view of that…in some parts of our state due to lack of competition, primarily, insurance rates are higher than many people find to be affordable. However, overall in the state of Michigan there was actually a two percent decrease in the rate.”
Warren explains that certain regions of the state such as the Upper Peninsula have less competition among insurance companies, resulting in higher rates. “Every year since open enrollment started we have actually been adding insurers, not decreasing them…it’s just not across the state,” says Warren.
Marilyn, a caller from Oak Park, tells of her experiences saying that, “before the Affordable Care Act it was getting to the point where I wasn’t going to be able to afford insurance… because of pre-existing conditions. But now it is much better. However, the premiums have gone up significantly.”
Click on the audio link above to hear the entire conversation.