Please contact your state legislators and advise them to oppose any Blue Cross deregulation deal (SB 61 and SB 62) that does not include the essential consumer safeguards proposed by Michigan Consumers for Healthcare (MCH). Consumers cannot allow a functional monopoly to control more than 70% of the state insurance market without tough, meaningful rate-review procedures. MCH has provided lawmakers with the roadmap to ensure such safeguards are in place.
MCH has shared with the members of the House Insurance Committee proposed amendments to SB 61 and SB 62 that would establish a meaningful 40 day rate-review process for all insurance rate hikes, including those proposed by Blue Cross. These new procedures establish clear criteria for rejecting unjustified rate increases, establish a meaningful 30 day public comment period and require the Insurance Commissioner to take action on rates deemed unjustifiable. This proposal levels the playing field by ensuring all insurers go through the same process without effectively abandoning rate review and allowing a functional monopoly to set insurance rates in Michigan.
The American Medical Association (AMA) released a study finding the Michigan insurance market to be the 3rd least competitive market in America and dubbed Blue Cross as a “near monopoly” for its dominance over the market. Consumer groups have warned repeatedly that pending deregulation removes Blue Cross from a meaningful “Prior Approval” rate-review process involving the State Attorney General (and possible third party intervention) and instead allows it to only go through a largely ceremonial rate-review process (in the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation) which has no history of turning rate increases down nor proper procedures in place to even do so.