WARREN, Mich., Sept. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michigan Business and Professional Association (MBPA) said it supports Gov. Rick Snyder's proposed health care initiatives announced earlier today. The business groups called on the governor, the legislature, and the Michigan Department of Community Health to implement a "Michigan Exchange" for health insurance products as part of proposed overall state health care reforms.
Health insurance exchanges, provided for by last year's federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), would establish in each state a marketplace where individuals and small businesses can compare policies and premiums, and buy insurance with a government subsidy, if available.
"The state exchange, if and when established, should not become the exclusive health insurance distribution channel for individuals and small businesses," said Jennifer Kluge, MBPA President and CEO. "Existing health care market distribution channels, as well as the use of independent agents, have served our state well and must continue to operate."
In addition, Kluge pointed out that if Michigan does not initiate its own exchange program by October 2013, the state would be forced into a federal exchange program, with a resulting loss of control. "Michigan must retain power over what happens with our health care, from providers to agents," she said, noting that on July 13, 2011, the MBPA testified before a State Senate Health and Insurance Joint Committee on the need for a state-run health insurance exchange.
Bonnie Bochniak, vice president of government relations for MBPA, added, "Michigan needs to take the responsibility to ensure we are providing all the needed health care benefits to all citizens, individuals and businesses alike." She noted that while the MBPA did not support the PPACA, "we must move forward and guarantee our members have a variety of choice both inside and outside the insurance exchange."
Based in Warren, Mich., the MBPA is the largest business organization of small to medium-sized businesses in Michigan, representing more than 20,000 members who employ over 160,0000 persons. Members include attorneys, physicians, architects, accountants, construction companies, banks, retail, wholesalers, manufacturers and the like. Member businesses receive numerous benefits including free legal and financial consultations; discounted technology, automotive and office products; employee training and recruitment assistance; and competitive group insurance rates. The MBPA is a sister association to the Michigan Food & Beverage Association (MFBA).
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SOURCE Michigan Business and Professional Association