Senate Republicans announce MI Health plan to help Michigans 1.2 million uninsured
Senate Republicans today unveiled a comprehensive plan that will help make health insurance in the state affordable and accessible for uninsured Michigan residents, said Sen. Mark C. Jansen, a sponsor of the legislation.
Jansen said the MI Health package is an innovative approach that provides consumer protections and has the potential to cover half of the more than 1.2 million uninsured people in the state. MI Health is the result of a series of bipartisan workgroup meetings commissioned by Senate Majority Leader Michael D. Bishop last winter and led by Sen. Tom George, M.D., chair of the Senate Health Policy Committee.
“As a member of the workgroup, we heard from many people across Michigan,” said Jansen, R-Gaines Township. “The current health care system needs solutions for the growing number of Michigan’s uninsured residents and that is why we’ve sponsored these bills today.”
Central to the plan are its two programs to expand coverage for the uninsured. MI Access will cover uninsured patients earning under 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, while MI Coverage will protect those earning between 200 and 300 percent of that level. Patients will not lose coverage if they get sick. The plan also includes a re-insurance mechanism that partially relieves Blue Cross Blue Shield of its burden.
The bipartisan workgroup held several meetings across the state in a four month period and consulted with numerous stakeholders in the health field, including: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan; commercial carriers; health plans; physicians; hospitals; seniors; patients and consumers; disability advocates; Michigan business owners and job providers; unions; and the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation.
Eric Schneidewind, state president of the AARP, spoke enthusiastically of the MI Health plan.
“AARP’s top priority is making health care available to all Michigan citizens. Today’s announcement is a major step toward that goal,” Schneidewind said.
According to Jansen, the focus of the Senate MI Health plan addresses accessibility and affordability of health care for the growing number of Michigan’s uninsured residents.
Senate Bills 579 - 582 have been referred to the Senate Health Policy Committee.
Posted: Friday, May 15, 2009
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