Legislation enshrines federal protections into state law to keep health care available, affordable

LANSING, Mich., Oct. 13, 2023 — Michigan Democratic legislators are one step closer to securing Affordable Care Act (ACA) protections in law. The ACA requires nearly all private health plans to cover many critical preventive services without cost sharing — these bills serve to codify those reforms and protections in Michigan statute. Lawmakers in both chambers have worked together to ensure the protections for Michiganders. The bills include:

  • SB 356 (Hertel): require insurers  to  provide a summary  of health  insurance  benefits to consumers.
  • SB 357 (Cavanaugh) prohibits an insurer from rescinding coverage unless the insured individual  committed  fraud  or  made  an  intentional  misrepresentation  of  material fact.
  • SB 358 (Klinefelt) sets the levels of coverage a health policy insurer would have to offer in the State.
  • HB 4619 (Rogers) bans health insurers from denying coverage based on gender identity, sexual orientation or gender expression. This legislation also adds to existing protections from discrimination by insurance companies based on race, color, creed, marital status and sex.
  • HB 4620 (Edwards) upholds federal law that prohibits insurers from refusing to provide health coverage based on preexisting physical or mental health conditions.
  • HB 4621 (Fitzgerald) which requires insurers to allow dependent health coverage to policyholders, and it would allow the dependent to continue to stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26.
  • HB 4622 (Miller) eliminates the possibility of insurers putting annual and lifetime limits on benefits.
  • HB 4623 (Koleszar) mandates that insurers in Michigan offer coverage that is guaranteed under the ACA. This coverage includes hospitalization, mental health care, substance abuse treatment, prescription drugs, pregnancy, infant care and preventive services like dentistry.

“As a health care provider, I am thrilled that all eight of the bills in the Affordable Care Act package have now passed both chambers,” said state Rep. Julie M. Rogers (D-Kalamazoo). “Preserving access to care and insurance by safeguarding some of the most important aspects of the ACA will save lives. An important element includes the prohibition against discrimination based on an individual’s gender or sexuality. This legislation helps protect all Michiganders by ensuring they get the coverage they need and the protections they deserve.”

“In my lifetime, I have witnessed few pieces of legislation as impactful as the ACA,” said state Sen. Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores). “Despite ongoing challenges to its protections in federal court, I am committed to ensuring Michigan residents can confidently access affordable healthcare without worry. It is an honor to be part of codifying this in state law.”

“Enshrining the ACA’s protections in state law is monumental for the people of Michigan. Now, Michiganders-present and future-can rest assured that their access, their family’s access, to health insurance is protected,” said state Rep. John Fitzgerald (D-Wyoming), “With these laws, Michiganders will be able to access healthcare when they need it most, no matter the circumstance.”

The legislation is now one step closer to reaching the governor’s desk.