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Overwhelming Majority of Michigan Residents Favors Individual Health Insurance Market Reforms Supported by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Individual Market Reform package supported by 81 percent of Michigan adults

DETROIT, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- By huge margins, Michigan residents support a package of reform measures proposed in the Michigan Legislature that would protect consumers in the individual health insurance market from rate increases and set standard rating practices for all insurers doing business in the state, according to internal poll results made public today by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

The legislation, known as Individual Market Reform (House Bills 5282- 5285), is supported by 81 percent of Michigan adults, with 14 percent opposed. The statewide telephone survey was conducted Sept. 6-10, 2007, for BCBSM among 604 voting age Michigan residents by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research of Washington, D.C., a nationally renowned public opinion research firm.

"We knew these proposed reforms would be popular, because they address some of the most outrageous, anti-consumer practices of the for-profit insurance companies," said Mark Cook, BCBSM vice president, Governmental Affairs. "We just didn't know how exceedingly popular the reforms would be. We were very pleased to have such overwhelming affirmation behind these reforms as they went before the House in October."

The survey shows that 71 percent of Michigan residents favor placing limits on premium increases put forward by insurance companies when it's time for people to renew their policies. Provisions of the Individual Market Reform legislation that passed the Michigan House of Representatives in October would prohibit health insurers from jacking up premiums at renewal for people whose health conditions worsen during their coverage period.

The survey shows strong support for insurance companies paying assessments to finance a system for covering people with medical conditions so severe that they cannot find insurance. Support for insurance company funding of a "high risk" pool is 66 percent of Michigan adults. A provision of the reform package to set standard rating practices for all insurers is supported by 62 percent of Michigan adults.

"As the Senate nears debate on this important reform package, it's important for Senators to know that the reforms they will be considering are overwhelmingly supported by the people who sent them to Lansing," said Cook. "Michigan residents want reform of the individual health insurance market to protect consumers - as 34 other states have already done."

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is nonprofit and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
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