Michigan Moves One Step Closer to a Federal-State Partnership Health Exchange

On February 27, 2013, the Michigan House Appropriations Committee overwhelmingly approved $30.67 million in federal grant money to establish a State Partnership Exchange.  A day later, House Bill 4111, which permits the state to accept the federal grant, passed the Michigan House of Representatives with a vote of 78 to 31. The bill now moves to the Michigan Senate.

This week’s actions move Michigan one step closer to creating a State Partnership Exchange.  After legislation to create a state-based health exchange failed in late 2012, the federal-state partnership was Michigan’s only option to be involved with the state’s health exchange in 2014.  Michigan plans to use these funds to perform the plan management and consumer assistance functions of the State Partnership Exchange.  In addition, the funds will help Michigan bring its Medicaid and CHIP programs online with the exchange.

If the HB 4111 is passed in the Senate, Michigan can move forward with its plans under the State Partnership Exchange model.  According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), a State Partnership Exchange allows a state to assume primary responsibility for carrying out certain activities related to plan management and/or consumer assistance and outreach.  With respect to plan management, the scope of state responsibilities may include certifying health plans for the exchange and the day-to-day administration and oversight of health plan issuers.  On the consumer front, HHS hopes to draw on a state’s knowledge and experience regarding the needs of the state’s population.  Here, the scope of state responsibilities may include: the day-to-day management of the Exchange Navigators; the development and management of a separate, in-person assistance program; and the creation of outreach and educational activities.

We will continue to update you as details related to Michigan’s health exchange unfold.

To find out more about the impact that the Affordable Care Act has on health care and your business, contact Health Care Department Chair Jonathan Raven at jraven@fraserlawfirm.com or 517.377.0816, or our Employee Benefits Department Co-Chair Elizabeth H. Latchana at elatchana@fraserlawfirm.com or 517.377.0826.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *