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Getting younger people to buy health plans key to lowering costs, says MI health insurance exec.

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Terri Kline, President and CEO of Health Alliance Plan, said more should be done to educate consumers on how to stay healthy and how to navigate healthcare and insurance.

The U.S. Senate is considering the American Healthcare Act. That’s the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

One of the industries at the center of the health care reform debate is, of course, health insurance. Terri Kline is President and CEO of Health Alliance Plan, a subsidiary of the Henry Ford Health System.

Kline said a few of the main differences between Obamacare and the American Healthcare Act are that the republican-supported AHCA gives more responsibility for regulatory oversight to individual states, and also gives states access to funding for Medicaid programs.

Kline said several aspects of Obamacare policy “have not worked very well.” Kline suggests giving more responsibility for oversight to states, and changing the number of age groups that are used to calculate insurance rates.   

“Today we have three age groups, and I would say that it would be better to have five or seven age bands for rating purposes,” Kline said. “That would allow younger people to have much lower rates, and more young people would come into an insurance system, which would be good for everybody.”

When it comes to healthcare in Michigan, Kline said it is an expensive state to receive care compared to others in the country. She said access to health care in Michigan is relatively good, but there are access issues to behavioral health services and other areas in Michigan that other states are also dealing with.

Kline also said educating consumers about how to stay healthy and understand more about the health care system and insurance would be productive, and that the health insurance industry should consider incentivizing healthy consumer behaviors, and disincentivize unhealthy behaviors, like smoking.

Listen to the full conversation with Terri Kline, President and CEO of Health Alliance Plan, above. 

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