health insurance

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Americans are again enrolling in health insurance plans under Obamacare. We learn what’s new, what’s changed and what challenges are ahead for the Affordable Care Act and Healthy Michigan from Marianne Udow-Phillips of Ann Arbor’s Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation.

Todd Tennis photo
Courtesy image / Ingham County Board of Commissioners

Ingham County officials may be nearing a resolution over how to provide medical services to the county’s neediest residents. That’s been an issue since participation plunged and surpluses soared at the Ingham Health Plan. Current State speaks with Ingham County Commissioner Todd Tennis about the road ahead.

Current State talks with analyst Marianne Udow-Phillips about the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act.

Naeyaert and Daman with Bashore
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Continued funding for the Ingham Health Plan debated as U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare looms. Current State speaks with Tim Daman of the Greater Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce and County Commissioner Robin Naeyaert.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Since the launch of Obamacare, close to 300,000 Michigan residents have enrolled in health insurance plans offered through the state exchange.  

Many of them are now watching the U.S. Supreme Court closely.   A decision in the the case ‘King v Burwell’ is due by the end of the month.  It will determine whether or not federal subsidies, which help pay premiums for about three-quarters of those participants, will continue.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

The Ingham County Health Plan was created in 1998 to help the region’s most vulnerable residents help pay for medical care. At one time, the program served around 14,000 people. But after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, many of those people became eligible for insurance, either through the expanded Medicaid program or the private insurance market. That means that the yearly $3.2 million dollar millage for the program that voters renewed last fall is supporting a much smaller program.

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Medicaid benefits used to be available mostly to low-income children, pregnant women, and disabled adults in Michigan. But that changed in 2013 when Michigan voted to use federal funds from the Affordable Care Act to extend those benefits to more people. Gov. Rick Snyder was a major force behind the legislation, saying it would mean lower healthcare costs and more federal dollars for Michigan. Healthy Michigan, the state’s expanded Medicaid program, has enrolled nearly 600,000 people to date. But the future of the program depends on the Department of Health and Human Services getting a waiver from the federal government.

Flickr - Adrian Clark

Open enrollment for health insurance offered through the Affordable Care Act has begun again. Michiganders without health coverage can enroll in plans offered by 16 different insurance carriers. The enrollment period runs through February 15, but anyone wanting coverage by the beginning of the year needs to enroll by December 15.


The new ‘Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act’ bans insurance companies from offering coverage for the procedure as a standard part of a policy. Persons wanting the coverage will need to purchase a separate “rider” for their policy.

Flickr - Eldercare2008

By virtually all accounts, the roll out of the Affordable Care Act has been shaky at best. The website,, was virtually unusable for October and into November. But lately, reports are showing that the website’s improved considerably and, correspondingly, the number of people signing up for the health care exchanges is growing.

Governor Rick Snyder's administration is asking lawmakers to quickly authorize spending $31 million to help run an online marketplace where hundreds of thousands of people can start shopping for health insurance later this year.

WKAR file photo

Some state lawmakers say they hope to pass an overhaul of Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Michigan after dropping some controversial abortion language.

Judge Halts Contraceptive Mandate For Mich. Firm

Jan 1, 2013
southerfried / morgueFile

A federal judge has ruled a property management company owned by the founder of Domino's Pizza doesn't have to immediately implement mandatory contraception coverage in the health care law.

WKAR file photo

Governor Rick Snyder has vetoed an overhaul of Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Michigan because the legislation would require insurance companies to offer separate coverage for abortions. But he signed new regulations on clinics that perform abortions that could force some of them to shut down.

WKAR File Photo

Patients might have to pay out of their own pockets for medical marijuana if lawmakers pass two bills in the state House.