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Chamber Opposes House Health Policy Bills, Cite Concerns About Cost-Shift and Impact on Health Insurance Premiums

Advocacy News – March 25, 2021

The Michigan Chamber opposed two key pieces of the House healthcare legislative package that was approved by the Michigan House yesterday.  The bills would mandate a limit on out-of-pocket expenses but raise health insurance premiums that are already a heavy burden for many businesses.

The bills (HBs 4346 and 4354) attempt to cap copays and mandate cost parity for certain treatments and pharmaceutical drugs.  However well-intentioned, the amount to government price controls and unwarranted governmental interference in private contracts.  Furthermore, estimates suggest they would equate to an estimated $57.2 million tax on small business and individual health insurance plans.

While the bills seek to set arbitrary limits on out-of-pocket costs to patients, the concern is that they do nothing to change the underlying price of prescription drugs or how much can be charged.  Limiting out of pocket costs to consumers, then, means costs will simply be shifted around.  In this case, the costs get shifted to insurers to health care purchasers and ultimately to employees/individuals by way of increased premiums, deductibles and/or coinsurance.

House bills 4346 and 4354 are a top priority of the Speaker of the House, but opposed by the Michigan Chamber, the Michigan Association of Health Plans, Economic Alliance for Michigan, Small Business Association of Michigan, Detroit Regional Chamber, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business and others.  The bills now move to the Michigan Senate for consideration.

Please contact Wendy Block with any questions at wblock@michamber.com.

Advocacy News – March 25, 2021

The Michigan Chamber opposed two key pieces of the House healthcare legislative package that was approved by the Michigan House yesterday.  The bills would mandate a limit on out-of-pocket expenses but raise health insurance premiums that are already a heavy burden for many businesses.

The bills (HBs 4346 and 4354) attempt to cap copays and mandate cost parity for certain treatments and pharmaceutical drugs.  However well-intentioned, the amount to government price controls and unwarranted governmental interference in private contracts.  Furthermore, estimates suggest they would equate to an estimated $57.2 million tax on small business and individual health insurance plans.

While the bills seek to set arbitrary limits on out-of-pocket costs to patients, the concern is that they do nothing to change the underlying price of prescription drugs or how much can be charged.  Limiting out of pocket costs to consumers, then, means costs will simply be shifted around.  In this case, the costs get shifted to insurers to health care purchasers and ultimately to employees/individuals by way of increased premiums, deductibles and/or coinsurance.

House bills 4346 and 4354 are a top priority of the Speaker of the House, but opposed by the Michigan Chamber, the Michigan Association of Health Plans, Economic Alliance for Michigan, Small Business Association of Michigan, Detroit Regional Chamber, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business and others.  The bills now move to the Michigan Senate for consideration.

Please contact Wendy Block with any questions at wblock@michamber.com.