While Michigan ranks sixth in the nation in the number of people who have lost their health insurance due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, we have received one piece of good news: The projected average increase in insurance rates for Obamacare policies will rise by less than 2 percent in 2021.
The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) announced Wednesday that the state’s average rate increase among insurance companies participating in the Affordable Care Act will be 1.4 percent when the new enrollment period begins on Nov. 1.
That will prove beneficial to some of the 222,000 Michiganders who lost their health care coverage from February to May as the COVID-19 outbreak flourished, according to Michigan Advance. That represents a 46 percent increase in the state’s uninsured compared to the same period in 2018.
A recent report from Families USA, a Washington-based, nonpartisan consumer advocacy group, found that Michigan, the 10th most populous state, has the sixth highest number of newly uninsured adults.
The states with more newly uninsured adults than Michigan are California, Texas, Florida, New York and North Carolina, all of which have higher populations than Michigan.
The 2021 insurance rates submitted to the DIFS in Lansing, which still face department approval, came from nine companies who are participating in Obamacare’s online marketplace (healthcare.gov). Four companies are offering slight decreases – Health Alliance Plan, McLaren Health Plan Community, Priority Health and Total Health Care USA.
The insurers will offer a combined 130 plans from which to choose. Current Michigan enrollment on the marketplace is 317,484.
“It is crucial that Michigan families are able to get the affordable health care coverage they need as we continue to feel the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox in a statement. “For the third year in a row, Michigan rate changes are below anticipated levels, and consumers will have a growing list of plans to choose from when shopping for health insurance coverage on the marketplace.”
The dramatic fall in Michiganders covered by health insurance is directly tied to the number of state residents who rely upon their employer to provide insurance benefits. Michigan’s unemployment rate in May, at 16.3 percent, was better than only two states, Hawaii and Nevada.
On Wednesday, Michigan reported 891 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, its highest daily number since mid-May.
As the number of infections is climbing, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 71,842 cases of COVID-19 and 6,101 deaths through Thursday. When “probable” cases are added, Michigan’s case tally reaches 79,839 and 6,348 deaths.