Affordable Care Act: What It Means for Michigan

While many of the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act have already taken effect, many more will be implemented as we head into 2014. I wanted to update you on what this will mean for Michigan residents, and provide helpful resources to get you the answers you need as we continue in this much-needed transition to a more accessible and affordable health system.

Helpful Information on Implementation of the Affordable Care Act:

How the Health Care Law is Making a Difference for the People of Michigan - Here you can find up-to-date information on the investments made in implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Michigan.

Michigan.gov: Michigan Department of Community Health - The Michigan Department of Community Health is responsible for health policy and management of the state's publicly-funded health service systems.

Key Features of the Affordable Care Act - Reforms included in the Affordable Care Act will be implemented through 2014 and beyond.  This timeline will show when key features will be implemented.

Your Insurance Company & Cost of CoverageThe Affordable Care Act includes features that promote transparency and hold insurers accountable for how they spend your premium dollars and rate increases. Insurers must now spend 80 percent or 85 percent of the premium dollars they take in on health care costs and health care improvement activities. If they do not, they must provide rebates or premium reductions to policy holders. You can visit here to find out where your insurance company is spending your dollars, and check out their "Rate Review" profile to find out if they plan to increase rates in any way. 

I like the health care plan I have. What does this change for me?

If you are covered by a plan that existed before March 23, 2010, your plan may be "grandfathered," allowing you to keep the plan you have. More information on keeping your current plan can be found at HealthCare.gov's "Grandfathered" Health Plan website.

Michigan's Health Insurance Marketplace:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has approved a plan to partner with the State of Michigan to establish a statewide Health Insurance Marketplace that will let you choose the plan that works for you, at a cost you can afford. 

Whether you’re uninsured, or just want to explore new options, creation of this Marketplace will give you more choice and control over your health insurance options.

About the Marketplace
The Marketplace will be designed to help you find health insurance that will cover your needs and fit your budget. Each state, including Michigan, is in the process of choosing the type of marketplace that will best meet the needs of their residents. Here in Michigan, our state will partner with HHS to ensure a well-run Marketplace is a top priority. Federal funding for the program is pending approval in the Michigan legislature. You can find more updates here.

Preparing to Enroll
Many families are wondering what, if anything, they should do to prepare for the Marketplace when enrollment begins in October 2013. There's a helpful checklist for individuals and families, as well as a thorough resource for small businesses.

Get a Break on Costs
Since the Affordable Care Act has been implemented, we have seen the growing costs of health care coverage slow. Further, more and more Michigan residents will be eligible for the affordable care they need as we head into 2014. In the meantime, you and your family might be eligible to find cost-cutting savings now.

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How the Marketplace Works:

What Is the Affordable Care Act Doing?: