Considering Michigan's long struggling economy and the fact that it has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, you'd think that the status of Michigan health insurance would be equally dire. To the contrary, the Commonwealth Fund's 2009 State Scorecard on Health Care Performance suggests otherwise. The study, which evaluates and ranks the health care systems of all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on ease of access to healthcare, prevention and treatment, avoidable hospital use and cost, and healthy living rates, ranks Michigan 20th out of a possible 51, putting it in the top 40% in the nation where health care is concerned. What accounts for the discrepancy? Simply put: regulation. Michigan has been pro-active in managing its health care system, making it all the more important that consumers do their homework and know their rights before they go looking for insurance in the State of Lakes.
How are you Protected as a Michigan Health Insurance Consumer?
While Michigan health insurance isn't perfect by any means, several safeguards have been put into place to protect residents of the Wolverine State. They include, but aren't limited to:
- HMO Rate Regulation --HMOs, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM), and Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWA) must submit rates for approval by the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR).
- Rate Monitoring for Independent Carriers --Independent commercial insurance providers must submit individual insurance rates and justifications to the OFIR for review.
- Minimum State Coverage Requirements --State minimum coverage requirements guarantee coverage for breast cancer detection and treatment, chemotherapy treatments, diabetes care, hospice care, emergency health care, and pediatric care, just to name a few.
- Patient Bill of Rights --Michigan's Patient Bill of Rights, passed in 1997, guarantees extra rights of coverage and compensation to those enrolled in a Health Maintenance Organization, in addition to the minimum coverages mentioned above.
The Cost of a Michigan Health Insurance Quote
How does all that regulation and monitoring affect a Michigan health insurance quote? Michiganians pay less on average per year than the national average for group health care for single residents ($735 per year compared to $882) and group health care for families ($2,522 compared to $3,394), according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. And the same goes for individual market insurance rates. An average quote for health insurance in Michigan of $1,868 for single coverage and $4,118 for family coverage is far cheaper than the national averages of $2,613 and $5,799, according to the AHIP's Health Insurance Overview and Economic Impact on the States. Add to that Michigan's uninsured rate of 10%, earning it an 11th place ranking out of all 50 states according to the AHIP (higher is better), and the prospects of finding an affordable Michigan health insurance quote ought to be enough to make any Michigander smile.
How to Get the Best Michigan Health Insurance Quote Possible
Last, but certainly not least, any resident of the Water-Winter Wonderland needs to realize that the secret to getting a favorable Michigan health insurance quote lies as much in the hands of the consumer as it does with the state. Consumer Reports, the Wall Street Journal's SmartMoney.com, and Forbes Magazine all agree that the key to finding low health insurance rates is to be sure to compare as many different policies, plans, rates, and coverages as you can muster. That being the case, nothing makes that task easier, or more bearable, than a free online quote service like NetQuote.com. By filling out a few simple questionnaires and submitting your request online, you can get a handful of quotes from reputable providers at the click of a mouse, allowing you to secure quality, affordable health insurance in Michigan for you and yours.