In Michigan
5:43 pm
Wed May 20, 2009

Group says health ins is too concentrated

East Lansing, MI (WKAR News) – East Lansing, MI (WKAR News)
A national health care advocacy organization says the high consolidation of private insurance companies in Michigan is driving up the cost of premiums for individuals and businesses.

A report by the group "Health Care for America Now" finds that in the Lansing-East Lansing metro area, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and United Health Group dominate 95% of the region's total market share. John Freeman is the group's Michigan director. He says a public health insurance system would inject competition into the market: "By having a real competitive market, we're going to force the current players in the private insurance sector in Michigan to compete for customers, lower their costs, reduce salaries and become much more efficient as an entity."

Freeman says a public insurance plan would be overseen by the federal government, but not subsidized with taxpayer dollars.