FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 9, 2020
(LANSING, MICH) The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is continuing to direct insurers to pass on savings from reduced claims activity due to COVID-19 to Michigan businesses and consumers. Businesses will receive more than $20.4 million in adjustments, refunds, or credits for health and dental insurance premiums. Refund filings for individual health plans are currently under review, which will result in additional savings for Michigan consumers.
“Earlier this year, when non-essential health and dental services were unavailable due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employers were paying for coverage that their employees could not use,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “These refunds will help employers at a time when many are having to tighten their belts and many Michigan businesses are struggling.”
In DIFS Bulletin 2020-26-INS, DIFS informed health and dental insurers of filing requirements for plans to issue premium credits or refunds, as appropriate, due to reduced use during COVID-19. The bulletin also required a detailed communication plan to inform policyholders about the refunds or credits, how they will be applied, and the timeframe during which the refund or credit will apply. Additionally, the bulletin required a description regarding how annual benefits will be addressed for individuals, such as well-baby visits, annual physicals, dental cleanings, mammograms, and more.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on families, businesses, and the economy, and DIFS is committed to supporting Michigan’s financial recovery,” said Fox. “The $20 million in refunds already approved and the upcoming refunds for consumers covered by individual health plans currently under review ensure that insurance savings are appropriately and consistently passed on to Michiganders.”
Filings received by DIFS show that 15 dental and 10 health insurers currently plan to issue refunds or credits. For dental insurers, premium credits will range from 10% to 100% per month for 1 to 6 months. For health insurers, the premium credits will range from 5% to 30% per month for 1 to 6 months. Projected savings, based on insurer filings for small and large group policies approved as of Aug. 18, will be at least $1.2 million from dental insurers and $19.1 million from health insurers. DIFS is currently reviewing additional filings, including those for individual health plans. Further refunds or credits are expected.
Businesses with questions about their refunds or adjustments should contact their insurance company to determine when and in what form they will receive their savings. DIFS has a consumer hotline to assist policyholders with questions or disputes that cannot be directly resolved with their insurers. Contact DIFS Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 877-999-6442 or file a complaint at Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints.
The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/difs or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.