Michigan Insurers on HealthCare.Gov Provide Consumer Flexibility
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 3, 2021
(LANSING, MICH) Through an agreement announced today between Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS), and all nine of Michigan’s Marketplace insurers, Michiganders enrolled in a health plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace can now take advantage of expanded tax subsidies offered by the American Rescue Plan without having to restart their deductibles when they switch to another plan offered by their current insurer, and in some cases even if they choose a plan through another insurer.
“Every Michigander deserves to have access to high quality, affordable health coverage, and these agreements will allow them to upgrade or change their health plan without worrying about the expense of meeting a brand new deductible,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “I'm pleased that health insurers agreed to give Michiganders credit for the funds they have already paid toward their family’s deductible if they change their plan to take advantage of the expanded subsidies available right now.”
The American Rescue Plan expanded tax subsidies for Marketplace plans, allowing those who qualify to obtain or upgrade their Marketplace health coverage at reduced premiums. Last year, more than 267,000 Michiganders purchased Marketplace coverage for 2021, and an estimated 50 percent of those currently enrolled in a Marketplace plan now qualify for no-cost coverage, and 64 percent qualify for plans that cost $50 or less per month.
Previously, Michiganders who switched plans to take advantage of the increased subsidies may have triggered a reset of their deductible, the amount a person must pay toward their health care costs before the health plan will pay for many covered services. These new agreements between Michigan and the insurers allow consumers to switch or upgrade plans with their insurer and carry over any deductible spending from their old plan to their new plan.
“The American Rescue Plan gives many Michiganders the opportunity to get low- or no-cost health coverage, and this voluntary agreement with health insurers means that those who previously signed up for Marketplace coverage can take advantage of these savings today, without resetting their deductible,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “DIFS is here to help answer any health insurance questions or address any concerns as we continue to protect Michiganders’ health and financial wellness through this special enrollment period and beyond.”
Some insurers may require consumers to switch to a higher level plan in order to carry over deductible spending to their new plan. Consumers are encouraged to check with their health insurer to confirm how these new credits or deductible transfers will be applied.
The insurers who have agreed to carry over eligible Marketplace deductible spending are:
- Blue Care Network
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Physicians Health Plan (PHP)
- Priority, which will also allow consumers to bring their deductible with them if they switch from another insurer.
- Total Health Care, which will also allow consumers to bring their deductible with them if they switch from another insurer.
The Health Insurance Marketplace and application process, available at HealthCare.gov, has been updated to reflect both the extended special enrollment period and the newly expanded tax credits from the American Rescue Plan. Michiganders who need Marketplace health coverage should start a Marketplace application by visiting the Health Insurance Marketplace or by calling 800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325) before the August 15 enrollment deadline. Coverage will start on the first of the month after a plan is selected, so coverage will start June 1 for plans selected in May.
DIFS can help consumers with health insurance questions and complaints and can provide information about the Health Insurance Marketplace Special Enrollment Period that is currently open through August 15. Contact DIFS Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 877-999-6442 or Michigan.gov/HealthInsurance.
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 Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.