Michigan Association of Health Plans

MAHP Supports Senate Bill 597 and 598, Full Behavioral Health Integration

“Michigan health insurance providers have long known we need to integrate our behavioral and physical health systems to provide better care for the people of Michigan.

For most Michiganders, health insurers have already taken steps to do so through fully integrated mental health services offered as an essential benefit within the individual market and fully insured employer sponsored group health benefit plans. But our Medicaid system is still divided in two, with our nation-leading managed care system providing for physical health, and an outdated Community Mental Health system struggling, and too often failing, to meet mental health needs.

This Medicaid system is difficult to navigate and consumers in the system deserve better care than they are receiving and it’s time to modernize Medicaid. This needs to be an integrated system where physical and mental health care are combined will ensure quality outcomes, create consumer choice and provide access to person-centered care.

And taxpayers deserve more accountability for the money spent. A contract-driven state system of managed care, which we have used in Michigan for more than 20 years for the physical health of Medicaid beneficiaries, will do that.

We believe these bills are an important step toward a healthier Michigan. They meet the previously stated goals of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services by making services better for people: Easier to access, more consistent across the state, simpler to navigate and better coordinated. Instead of each person having two separate health plans, each person will have just one entity that will pay for and manage all of their needs.  While this concept is commonplace to persons not enrolled in Medicaid, this proposal would mean that for the first time there would be one single point of accountability for the health and wellbeing of the whole person.”

Dominick Pallone, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Health Plans