health insurance

Mark Sanchez
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State and local governments debate who should regulate short-term rental properties. Also, a new survey indicates a strong M&A market.

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A Michigan-based health system is buying a nonprofit insurer that currently serves more than 360,000 Indiana residents who are on Medicaid. Grand Blanc-based McLaren Health Care announced Thursday that it's signed a definitive agreement to acquire MDwise, a health maintenance organization that generates more than $1.5 billion in annual revenue.

Terms weren't disclosed. The deal is subject to state and federal regulatory review.

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Premiums will rise an average of 27 percent for the hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents who buy their own health insurance. Consumers eligible for income-based tax credits will be protected from the increasing premiums. The state Department of Insurance and Financial Services published the rates Wednesday. Enrollment for 2018 begins in a week. 

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One of nine Michigan insurers planning to sell health insurance on the federal marketplace in 2018 no longer will do so.

Health Alliance Plan said Friday the move affects about 9,100 people. It says it's leaving because of uncertainties related to premium stabilization programs, enforcement of the requirement to have insurance and not knowing if the Trump administration will continue funding cost-sharing subsidies.

The insurer says it's prepared to re-enter the government market "if and when the individual market stabilizes."

Uncertainty in Washington about the future of the Affordable Care Act is leaving many Michigan consumers in the dark on how much they will paying for health coverage next year.

President Trump is threatening to withhold payments to insurance companies that help make coverage affordable for people who buy their own health insurance. More than 300 thousand people in Michigan buy their coverage on exchanges set up under Obamacare.

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Michigan will wait another month before posting rate increases proposed by health insurers that sell coverage on a government marketplace, due to uncertainty over President Donald Trump's threat to stop billions of dollars in government payments to insurers.

The state Department of Insurance and Financial Services was supposed to publish the proposed rate hikes Tuesday. But it won a 30-day extension from the federal government, citing "uncertainty" over whether insurers will be reimbursed for providing required financial assistance to low-income consumers.

Firefighters with certain types of cancer might soon be able to charge the state for their medical expenses after the Michigan Senate approved a one-time appropriation.

The Senate unanimously approved $1 million to cover firefighters' expenses on Thursday. But Senate Majority Leader and Republican Arlan Meekhof says he doesn't know whether that is enough to cover the cost of firefighters' current cancer bills. 

Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation in January 2015 meant to cover cancer spurred by carcinogens they absorbed on the job.

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Michigan's tax on health insurance will continue under legislation signed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

The bill enacted Tuesday extends the health insurance claims assessment, which helps pay for Medicaid for low-income residents, until July 2020.

The tax would have gone away in two years if the legislation were not adopted.

The 0.75 percent tax is expected to rise to 1 percent in 2017 when the federal government no longer allows another tax to fund Medicaid.

Critics such as the Michigan Chamber of Commerce call the bill a tax increase.

Michigan's tax on health insurance would continue into 2020 under legislation approved by the state Legislature.

The Republican-controlled Senate and House voted Wednesday to extend the health insurance claims assessment, which helps pay for Medicaid for low-income residents.

The tax goes away in two years if the bill isn't enacted.

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce has called it a "giant tax hike," but Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign the legislation.

Michigan secures waiver to continue Medicaid expansion

Dec 17, 2015

Michigan has received a federal waiver that ensures 600,000 low-income adults will continue qualifying for Medicaid insurance.

The expanded program would have ended next spring without the approved waiver, which was announced Thursday by Gov. Rick Snyder.

A state law establishing Healthy Michigan required the state to get a second waiver from the Obama administration or the program launched in 2014 would have gone away on April 30.

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