Mich. ranks middle of pack on new health premiums

Michigan residents who buy health insurance on the state's new online exchange, which opens next week, will pay on average $306 a month — before tax credits — for a mid-range plan not including out-of-pocket costs, according to figures released by the Obama administration today.
AP Wire
Sep 25, 2013

That is below the national average of $328 and ranks 29th-lowest out of 47 states for which data was available. People will pay dramatically different premiums depending on their income, family size, age, hometown and tobacco use.

When tax credits are factored in, a 27-year-old in Michigan making $25,000 a year will pay on average $145 per month for a benchmark policy known as the second-lowest-cost silver plan. It will cost $202 before the subsidy.

A family of four with $50,000 in annual income will pay on average $282 in monthly premiums — $798 before qualifying for tax credits.

The state was caught off guard by Washington's release of average premium information for 36 states, including Michigan, where the federal government is taking the lead to cover uninsured residents. Michigan plans to make public specific rates for more than 100 plans offered by state insurers on Oct. 1, when enrollment begins. Coverage kicks in Jan. 1.

"It's somewhat limited data. They only show the lowest-cost plan in each of the categories," Caleb Buhs, spokesman for the state Department of Insurance and Financial Services, said Tuesday. "It doesn't give a full picture of what will be available."

Under the 2010 federal health care law, uninsured Americans required to have insurance in 2014 or else pay a penalty will be covered in one of two ways.

Many, ranging from lower-income workers to the solid middle class, will qualify for tax credits to help buy a private plan through a state market, or exchange. The government will send money directly to insurers, and policyholders will pay any remaining premium.

The poor and near-poor in Michigan will be steered to Medicaid since the state recently agreed to expand the program.

According to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, Michigan has the most insurers — 13 — offering coverage through a federally controlled exchange. The average is eight among 36 states studied.

States with lower premiums tend to have more competition, the study found.

Four levels of coverage will be offered on the exchange: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Bronze plans generally have the lowest premiums but cover less while platinum plans have the highest premiums and cover more.

If a 27-year-old Michigan resident with $25,000 in annual income buys a bronze plan, he or she will pay $89 on average per month, $56 less than for a silver plan. A family of four earning $50,000 per year will pay $80, $202 less per month than for a silver policy.

A silver plan covers 70 percent of medical costs, so policyholders will pay the difference up to an annual out-of-pocket cap.

The federal government is running Michigan's marketplace after Republican lawmakers rejected GOP Gov. Rick Snyder's request that the state operate the exchange.



Bottom line of this whole Odumbo mess is most honest hard working people and future generations will pay additional costs for their health insurance and get less so that many generations of people on the take from the Gov't(welfare, illegals) and contributators to Odumbo(unions and Gov't workers etc) get free or reduced costs for their coverage..He said part of the cost reductions to pay for this program was reducing Medicare by $ 500,000,000 so the Seniors will also pay more and get less..Now tell me this is fair..A retired Senior who worked all their lives paying for illegals coverage..Just not fair...

Mystic Michael

Multiple economic analyses show clearly that the Affordable Care Act will actually reduce overall health care costs - not increase them.

The budget that was taken from the Medicare program represents funds that had been earmarked to pay for administration & overhead - expenses that the ACA will make redundant and unnecessary - and not for benefits. In other words, you're bitching & complaining about a new program efficiency that will actually reduce costs to the taxpayer, while freeing up more resources for recipients.

Do you see how much better things look when you have factual information - rather than relying upon disinformation, slander, innuendo & spin?


I'm sure you're right that there will be no administrative or overhead costs under the 2,000 plus pages of legislation and 13,000 pages of regulations (to date) under Obamacare, and forget about the thousands of IRS employees to be hired (only through 2013).

And, of course, you don't count the $1 billion in
funding to the IRS and other participating agencies for implementation work necessary during Fiscal Years 2010 and

The IRS received funding for the implementation
of ACA provisions from the Health Insurance
Reform Implementation Fund administered by the
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as provided for in the ACA. The legislation provided $1 billion in
funding to the IRS andother participating agencies for implementation work necessary during Fiscal Years 2010 and
2011. Some provisions were retroactive to Tax Year 2009,
"Funding up to $350 million was available to the IRS for implem
entation costs. The IRS requested and was provided more than $20 million in Fiscal Year 2010 and obligated more than $168 million for Fiscal Year 2011."

You really shouldn't spout off about crap that you have done no reading or research on, my friend.


Hi Terrible writer:

You are mixing up so many things that I had to read your post several times before I realized fully how mixed up it was.

Honest hardworking people have been paying higher and higher premiums for years as more and more people could not afford to buy insurance and relied on the emergency room instead. The ACA should cut down on this group of people who through no fault of their own has to freeload on us working people who do buy insurance.

Where did illegals come into this discussion? How is welfare involved? Where do you see that Seniors will have to pay more? This President is offering people lower cost coverage and asking that they take some personal responsibility and pay for the that coverage now that it is more affordable. It is not a handout.


Change is never easy. This will turn out to be a good thing for most people in the state of mi. The honest hard working people will come out ahead. No other industrialised nation leaves the health of its citizens to insurance co policy. We will all benifit from this once the bugs are worked out. Health care is something we all need like, fire/police protection,roads with speed limits, schools, etc. Some things are best left to govt intervention and health care has become another one of those things. We all pay in the end. Hospitals only collect about 1/2 2/3 of what they bill as it is. Give this time and a chance to work and we all benifit. This is a much better way to spend our tax dollars than to go off bombing some other country we have no business invading as past administations have done.


Socialism: a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies.

Perhaps America is not for you! You may want to check out China, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba.....just sayin

Tri-cities realist

Robtownredneck, please explain how re-distributing tax dollars from those of us who pay taxes, to the non-taxpayers is a good thing for us?

You state "The honest hard working people will come out ahead." Please explain how this will be the case. Or is it the case only if they are so poor they qualify for the govt subsidy?

Instead of subsidizing health care coverage, why not work towards everyone paying for their own coverage, instead of free-loading off others.

You also state "Some things are best left to govt intervention and health care has become another one of those things." Please tell me ONE thing that you DO NOT WANT the govt to intervene on your behalf. Or is it OK for the govt to intervene in EVERYTHING?

I can't believe I have to waste the time to point out what an insane policy the ACA is. Some of you will think I'm crazy, but I fully support Ted Cruz's efforts at stopping Obamacare, at least he is consistent, unlike the RINO's who say they oppose the ACA, but do nothing to stop it.

And from this article, it looks like the prices on the new "exchange" are about the same or slightly higher than what I was quoted last year for a similar policy. Funny though, the article doesn't mention deductibles, 80/20 co-pay up to a pre-set limit, max insured, etc. It seems those details are just too complicated for us to understand, since it is so nuanced. 100 different plans, really? I can't wait to do my own analysis, to see how much Obamacare will "save" me.


The exchanges are made up of insurance companies that will offer policies based on actuarial science, just like their normal private policies. They have voluntarily signed onto the exchanges, competing on premiums with other insurers, and will offer various plans, with various benefits. This is the free market, free enterprise part of the ACA. In Michigan, which has a State/Federal (hybrid) exchange (marketplace) that will open next Tuesday, you will be able to 'shop' and compare the various competing insurance plans.

If you currently have employer-based health insurance, chances are you will not have a need to drop it and purchase a plan from the exchange. 85% of working Americans have employer-provided insurance, and will not be expected to take part in the exchanges, although they are free to do so.

Tri-cities realist

And if Obamacare is so great, why has Congress exempted itself, along with what are we up to... a 1000 businesses and unions? Doesn't this stink to high heaven, that the ACA is good enough for "the rest of us", but not Congress? Where is the outrage Lanny, MM, and all you other progressive, centrist people? I would think that when Congress exempts itself from a law it passes, that 100% of Americans could stand up and say "that is wrong". Apparently this is the new America... what a shame.


Ted Cruz is from one of the states that has the highest number of uninsured people in this country. He has no other interest except obstructing anything President Obama. A few years from now, he and all the other Tea Baggers will be viewed the same as those that thought Social Security, women's sufferage, child labor laws, and the abolishment of slavery, would "destroy" the country.
All I am reading in these comments is ignorance based on lack of effort to learn what is really offered in the ACA. Currently, your health care is controlled by Insurance Companies. Do you trust them? I certainly don't. They keep telling us there is already competition in the market, have you ever tried to find out what a procedure is going to cost, let alone shop around! Impossible! This needs to change.
Alos, this taker and worker thing needs to go away. The percentages just do not warrant the effort or the worry. Yes, there are those that will try and work the system, that goes equally for those at the other end of the scale as far as paying taxes that are fair.
Yes, Congress should have to use the same system we have to use! Ted Cruz is just trying to ruin the lives of all those at the lower end of the economic scale. Just like a few years ago, when the Republicans halted the unemployment benefits. Go after the people that ruined the economy, the bankers and speculators not the middle to lower classes. The bankers have not suffered and are still as arrogant as always.
Yes, I am outraged, I will not vote any republican. I am a registered Republican, but that was back before religion ruined the party.
Change is hard, but it is inevitable. Such is life!
TerribleTed your chracterization is disrespectful. If you think "honest hard working people" are truly represented by the ideology of the current Republican party, you are sadly disillusioned.


All I am reading in this comment is someone who has bought all the bilge that Obama, the democrats, and the media are awash in. The fact that you use the homoerotic term "Tea Baggers" tells me about all I need to know about your sources of information.

Wall Street has hugely supported Obama, and he and his Federal Reserve have rewarded them unimaginably - printing money to keep the big banks and the stock market flush while hurting the little guy. Obamacare is going to bureaucratize health care such that in a few years going to your doctor, or a hospital, will be just like your experience at the post office or Department of Motor Vehicles in any large city.

I trust my insurance company a hell of a lot more than I trust Obama, Kathleen Sebelius, Dick Durbin, Maxine Waters or any of the other Congresscritters.

If you think "honest hardworking people" are represented by the socialists that now control the democrat party you are delusional.


You better trust your insurance company more that Obama, etc - they make tons more money - Healthcare industry leaders took home more money than those in any other sector on the Standard & Poor's 500. Healthcare executives in the index earned a median total pay of $10.8 million, the highest of any other sector, according to research from Equilar.

Wall Street/Obama? Please! I think you are reminiscing about the good ole days - back when Cheney, VP after heading up Halliburton, had his covert, private, clandestine meeting behind closed doors, in the dark, with the Big 5 Oil Companies......


The insurance companies make more money than the government? Still the Jokester!

Fiscal Cliff Deal Sneaked In Wall Street Gifts, NASCAR Perks (Drafted in the Democrat Senate, signed by Obama) The corporate loopholes were part of a package of so-called tax extenders tacked onto the main bill. The extenders package, first approved by the Senate in early August, mixes popular benefits, like a deduction for teachers who buy classroom supplies, with corporate-friendly carve-outs, such as the "active financing" exception that permits businesses earning interest on overseas lending to defer U.S. taxes on that income indefinitely. There is even a tax break for construction of new racetracks. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/20...

Big banks binge on Bush-Obama ‘venture socialism’

Now Obama has created a new Ex-Im subsidy for banks. The name is a mouthful: “The Supply-Chain Finance Guarantee Program. Citi and JP Morgan were the first two banks admitted to this new subsidy program, and earlier this month, Ex-Im welcomed GE Finance. So GE, which already rakes in tens of billions of Ex-Im subsidies as an exporter (in September, for instance, Ex-Im approved a $425 million subsidy to help GE sell locomotive equipment to Kazakhstan), will now also pocket Ex-Im subsidies as a financier, too.

Many aspects of the Obama-Bush industrial policy works this way. The green-energy loan guarantee programs that benefitted Solyndra are also bank subsidies. For instance, the Energy Department this fall guaranteed $1.4 billion loan for solar companies NRG Energy and Prologis to install solar panels. But it wasn’t the solar companies applying for the subsidy — it was Bank of America, through the Financial Institutions Partnership Program created by the stimulus bill, which asked — and received — this taxpayer-funded gift from the Obama administration. Taxpayers will repay B of A if this $1.4 billion solar investment doesn’t pan out. But what are the odds of a stimulus-subsidized solar venture flopping, right? http://www.educationviews.org/bi...


Mystic Michael

OK, Vlad. Would you prefer the term "Teahadist"? The American Taliban?

If Wall Street loves Obama so much, then why did they suddenly withdraw the great bulk of their financial support for Obama during last year's election campaign, and throw it behind Romney instead? Why did Obama's Wall Street support suddenly dry up? (You may consider it a rhetorical question, V. I know you don't have a viable answer that's based in the real world. We both know that "reality" isn't exactly your strong suit.)

Wall Street is ideologically corporate, no doubt. But their pragmatic instincts are even stronger. They will align themselves with whoever happens to be in power. Not exactly a news flash there...except perhaps to you.

I don't which health insurance provider you use, but odds are they would throw you under the bus in a nanosecond, the moment you start costing them more money than you pay them in premiums, i.e. you get sick or injured, and actually need their help. And God help you (literally) if you should be one of those unfortunate souls with a "pre-existing condition". Looking for "death panels"? There's your death panels.

The Affordable Care Act outlaws all of those abuses. It requires that insurers allocate at least 80% of their revenues to providing actual health care support. But if you think you'll fare better by sticking with your buddies Aetna, or Humana, or Blue Cross/Blue Shield, be my guest.


The answer to your question is clear - Wall Street bought the Hopey Changey BS and supported him hugely in 2008; after 4 years they saw he was pursuing anti-capitalist policies and was libeling and slandering them at every opportunity. Like any dog having been beaten enough, they ran away looking for a new master.

The proof of Obamacare will be in the pudding. I am blessed with excellent health insurance, for which I worked over 31 years and for which I sacrificed other employment opportunities. I am opposed to Obamacare sacrificing the health insurance of the vast majority in a redistribution scheme that benefits a very few. There were much better ways to achieve what Obamacare does without wrecking our health care system (while leaving 40 million uninsured, like Obamacare does).


Anti-capitalist policies? Such as: "Obama: "I'm Willing To Work With Republicans On Reforming Our Corporate Tax Code." In a July 30 speech in Chattanooga, Tennessee, (2013) Obama proposed simplifying taxes for large corporations and small businesses through corporate tax reform and use the revenue generated to lower the corporate tax rate and spend on infrastructure." Sounds like an effort to problem-solve a stagnant economy to me.....but it's been rejected by the Republican job killers.

Or this? "Obama offered to put Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid cuts on the table in exchange for a tax hike of roughly $100 billion per year over 10 years. Meanwhile, government spending would be cut by roughly three times that amount. It's no small irony that the party's dogmatic opposition to tax increases is costing the GOP its best opportunity to roll back social programs it has long targeted." Grand Bargain, 2011.

Obama governs in a more pragmatic, fiscally conservative manner than Reagan...or Bush. Both father and son.

And what were those other "better ways" to achieve what Obamacare does that you mention? Single payer, perhaps? Heritage Foundation free market based, government sponsored health reform proposal floated by Republican Senators in the '90's? But, wait....

Mystic Michael

"It's no small irony that the party's dogmatic opposition to tax increases is costing the GOP its best opportunity to roll back social programs it has long targeted."

And as a progressive, I can only say "Thank goodness for that'. It is at least one instance in which the dogmatism and the rigidity of the Republican Right is having an unintended positive effect.


Right. Raise the Social Security payroll tax cap (has not gone up since the 1980's) - or eliminate it altogether. Employed people making a living wage and paying into the system would help, too. Problem solved.

Just for kicks, some figures on the administrative efficiencies of Social Security and Medicare percentage of expenditures:

Social Security - 0,6%
Social Security Disability - 2.3%
Traditional Medicare - 2%
Medicare Advantage - 11%


Yup - He said all of those things but never put them in draft legislation, and we all know Obama never lies: http://www.politifact.com/person...

So, put your trust in what your Dear Leader has said.

Mystic Michael

Debating anything with you is like trying to reason with a child who believes only what he wants to believe; who sticks his fingers in his ears and chants, "Nyah, nyah! I can't hear you!" when you tell him anything different.

Yet again, what actually has happened is completely different from your fiction. Anyone who was paying attention during the 2008 campaign will recall that Obama's rhetoric was decidedly critical of Wall Street. They backed him anyway, because they knew he was likely to win. It's been only since he's taken office that we've seen the extent of his corporate-friendly policies.

Why, after all the mess of 2008-2009, with the rampant criminality on Wall Street, thumbing their noses at the Justice Department by paying bonuses with federal bailout money, etc. has not a single Wall Street executive been prosecuted and sent to prison? Why after all the rhetoric about the "too big to fail banks" have those very same banks been allowed to become even bigger & fatter than ever, with a total return to "business as usual", with no end in sight?

With such "anti-capitalist policies" in place, Wall Street has been very happy indeed. Wall Street backed Mitt Romney in 2012 because with Romney they realized they would get an even sweeter deal - if that's possible. Romney is one of them.

I'm glad that you're confident in your health insurance. But others have felt the same way about their own coverage - to suddenly discover that they were on their own, once they really needed it. Now thanks to the Affordable Care Act, they couldn't burn you even if they tried. And you don't even appreciate it.

"...much better ways to achieve what Obamacare does..."? In more than a year of Congressional dithering...er, "debate", I never heard one. Certainly the President, in a reasonable response to Republicans who wanted only to stall the bill with endless "studies", asked what they would propose instead to fix our health care delivery - and was met with only the sound of crickets (plus the usual pompous bloviating). If it isn't clear by now that they want(ed) only to preserve the dysfunctional (but profitable) status quo, then I don't know what could be clearer.

Nobody claims that the ACA is perfect, least of all Obama himself. But if it really does leave 40 million uninsured, how many have been left uninsured under the current system, without it? All this jive about the ACA "sacrificing the health insurance of the vast majority" while benefiting "a very few" is nothing but a ridiculous fabrication - even by your standards.


You just answered your own question:

Why, after all the mess of 2008-2009, with the rampant criminality on Wall Street, thumbing their noses at the Justice Department by paying bonuses with federal bailout money, etc. has not a single Wall Street executive been prosecuted and sent to prison? Why after all the rhetoric about the "too big to fail banks" have those very same banks been allowed to become even bigger & fatter than ever, with a total return to "business as usual", with no end in sight?"

Because they get away with it under their BFF Obama.

"...much better ways to achieve what Obamacare does..."? In more than a year of Congressional dithering...er, "debate", I never heard one. Because you live in the liberal bubble:

Comprehensive Republican health reform plans introduced in Congress

Let’s start with 5 comprehensive health reform proposals that have actually been introduced in Congress—some well before President Obama even was nominated for president, and all months before the House (11/7/09) or Senate (12/24/09) voted on what eventually became Obamacare.

Ten Steps to Transform Health Care in America Act (S. 1783) introduced by Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) July 12, 2007.
Every American Insured Health Act introduced by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Bob Corker (R-TN) with co-sponsors Tom Coburn (R-OK), Mel Martinez (formerly R-FL) and Elizabeth Dole (formerly R-NC) on July 26, 2007.
Senators Bob Bennett (R-UT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the Healthy Americans Act on January 18, 2007 and re-introduced the same bill on February 5, 2009.
Patients’ Choice Act of 2009 introduced by Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Richard Burr (R-NC) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Devin Nunes (R-CA) on May 20, 2009.
H.R. 2300, Empowering Patients First Act introduced July 30, 2009 by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA).

Comprehensive conservative Obamacare replacement plans

Likewise, conservative market-oriented health policy scholars have developed a rich menu of potential replacement plans for Obamacare:

Individual Pay or Play proposed in 2005 by John Goodman; this is a minimalist version of a broader reform envisaged by Goodman built on converting the tax exclusion into universal tax credits.
Health Status Insurance originally proposed by John Cochrane in 1995.
Universal Health Savings Accounts proposed by John Goodman and Peter Ferrara in 2012. This combines fixed tax credits with individual pay or play and health status insurance concepts along with Roth-style Health Savings Accounts.
Fixed tax credits. A variety of proposals have centered on using fix tax credits to replace the current inefficient and unfair tax exclusion for employer-provided health benefits. Two good explanations of how that would work are here:
James C. Capretta and Robert E. Moffit, “How to Replace Obamacare,” National Affairs, no. 11 (Spring 2012).
James C. Capretta. Constructing an Alternative to Obamacare: Key Details for a Practical Replacement Program. American Enterprise Institute, December 2012.
Income-Related Tax Credits proposed by Mark Pauly and John Hoff in Responsible Tax Credits (2002) and endorsed by the American Medical Association. More recently, 8 scholars from Harvard, University of Chicago, and USC–Jay Bhattacharya, Amitabh Chandra, Michael Chernew, Dana Goldman, Anupam Jena, Darius Lakdawalla,Anup Malani and Tomas Philipson—released Best of Both Worlds: Uniting Universal Coverage and Personal Choice in Health Care (2013) which also is built around a model of individual health insurance subsidized with income-related tax credits.
Flexible Benefits Tax Credit For Health Insurance by Lynn Etheredge in 2001.
Near-Universal Health Insurance Exchanges proposed in 2001 by Sara Singer, Alan Garber and Alain Enthoven (covers only non-elderly).
Universal Health Insurance Exchanges proposed in 2013 by former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Avik Roy (covers Medicare and Medicaid in addition to privately insured).

The forgotten history of George W. Bush’s comprehensive health reform plan Too many people conveniently ignore that in his 2007 State of the Union message President Bush proposed a sweeping health reform plan that would have replaced the current tax exclusion for employer-provided coverage with standard tax deductions for all individuals and families. The Bush plan called for a tax deduction that would have applied to payroll taxes as well as income taxes. Moreover, if one were worried about non-filers, the subsidy could easily have instead been structured as a refundable tax credit in which case even those without any income taxes would have gotten an additional amount. This is the kind of policy detail that easily could have been negotiated had the Democrats been in a cooperative mood in 2007. They were not. On the contrary, President Bush’s health plan was declared “dead on arrival” by Democrats in 2007. Yet it is Republicans who were tagged as being uncooperative and intransigent when they resisted the misguided direction that Obamacare seemed to be headed.


It might be worth your while to withdraw your head from the liberal keister and view the real world on occasion.


Sorry, Vlad. I started out intending to reply to this, but about mid-way through my eyes started to glaze over. I'll let MM have the honors, should he be so inclined....
Sheesh!...Cut and Paste much?.....


Sometimes it the best way to illustrate how liberals use repeat lies over and over again to convince people who don't know any better that the lie is really the truth. Sorry if the many examples of Republican health care legislation, in response to MM's repetition of the oft repeated lie that Republicans have never offered any health care legislation overwhelms you.


I see it differently. After months of debating the ACA, you now, just days away from implementation, break out this hashtag of cut and paste Republican proposals. My guess (no time to trust but verify) - they were all debunked on the spot, probably because they are based on dismantling Social Security, Medicare, wouldn't save a dime right out the gate, or some other lame-brained Republican premise.

But you get a 'A' for effort!


I do not like you, Teddy Cruz
I do not like you or your views
I do not like you in the House
I will not click you with my Mouse

I do not like you, Teddy Cruz
I do not like like you and your views

Would I like you on a box?
Would I like your views on FOX?
Not on a box
Never on FOX
Not in the House
Not with a Mouse
I would not like you here or there
I do not like you anywhere
I do not swallow what you say
Gosh I wish you'd go away!

Wish I could take credit, but it goes to Will, a NYT commenter.


I do not like you, B. Hussein
I do not like you or reign
I do not like you in Health Care
I do not like your Muslim Prayer*.

I do not like you, B. Hussein
I do not like like you and your reign.

Would I like you on the Tee?
Would I like your views on NBC?
Not on the Tee
Never on NBC
Not in Health Care
Not in Muslim Prayer
I would not like you here or there
I do not like you anywhere
I do not swallow what you say
Gosh I wish you'd skip away!
* Before panties become inextricably wadded: http://youtu.be/rGYK8qyVaRU



Mine's funnier. And more accurate. I, too, am moved when I hear the Muslim Prayer. Very spiritual....you do know we all come from the same Mitochondrial Eve, don't you?

And aren't you pleased that Teddy managed to expose himself for 21 hours without his paisley bathrobe?


I wonder if Ted Cruz knows that Dr. Seuss was a very liberal Democrat?

Tri-cities realist

I'm sure he does. It's called irony.


And that the moral of the story is to try something new before you reject it.


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