Marleau introduces bill establishing health insurance marketplace

LANSING–Lower health insurance prices and expanded choice and flexibility for residents could be in the state’s future if legislation introduced by Sen. Jim Marleau becomes law.

Senate Bill 693 would establish the MiHealth Marketplace, a clearinghouse that would foster a competitive arena for health insurance in the state.

“While Michigan’s health care system is one of the best in the world, we have the least competitive health insurance market in the nation,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “Competition drives prices down and helps ensure quality. The MiHealth Marketplace provides competition that will empower residents choosing health insurance.”

The MiHealth Marketplace will be accessible online with an easy-to-use interface and will include a 24-hour phone center.

Marleau stressed that it is not a state agency but a separate nonprofit entity with “no bureaucratic footprint.”

“I am happy to say that not a single Michigan tax dollar will pay for the MiHealth Marketplace,” said Marleau, chair of the Senate Committee on Health Policy. “Michiganders will be actively engaged in purchasing their health insurance, highlighting the importance and effectiveness of preventative care and personal wellness.”

Under the proposal, the marketplace would include insurance plans for individuals and small businesses. Insurance would be available on or before Jan. 1, 2014.

SB 693 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health Policy.