Source Michigan Policy Network
A new state legislative proposal brought forth in Michigan by the senate, if passed, would create new boundaries for insurance coverage pertaining to chiropractic and optometric services. Senate Bill No. 969 was introduced on November 5, 2009 by Senator Richardville. This is inclusive to bills 968 through 973. These bills all call for the same type of change in insurance coverage, however they entail different aspects of the insurance field. The new bill is meant to expand the role of chiropractic service in the state of Michigan, and will allegedly have no fiscal impact on the State or local government. To address this fiscal impact, the cost of insurance for state and local employees would be increased by an unspecified amount. The areas under consideration for amending include motor vehicle personal and property protection, the Prudent Purchaser Act, the Nonprofit Health Care Corporation Reform Act, the Workers Disability Compensation Act, disabilities insurance policies, and group and blanket disability insurance. Under the new bill, any coverage for these specific policies would be subject to the Public Health Code as of January 1, 2009. Anything not covered in the Public Health Code after that time would be required for them out of their own pocket.
This bill incorporates different aspects of insurance in the different bills that it promotes. Senate bill 968 essentially changes the definition of chiropractic care. Chiropractic care would deal with the human nervous system and the musculoskeletal system and their interrelationship with other body systems. This as opposed to how it currently stands, the human nervous system and its relationship to the spinal column and its interrelationship with other body systems. Currently, chiropractic care does not deal with anything that punctures or penetrates the skin, or entail the prescribing of drugs or medications. Neither of these would change under the new bill.
Senate Bill 969 deals with the Motor Vehicle Personal and Property Protection. This covers all care related to injury and recovery, however this does not include chiropractic service unless that service is described in the Public Health Code as of January 1, 2009. Senate Bill 970 states that if an organization enters into a prudent purchaser agreement to help control health care costs, and that agreement provides chiropractic care, then coverage or reimbursement for that care will not be provided for unless after the date mentioned above. Senate Bill 971 states that a health care organization such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) may enter into contracts with health care providers, and if a certificate of benefits is provided that allows for chiropractic care, no coverage or reimbursement will be provided, unless within health code after said date. Senate Bill 972 deals with the Workers Disability Compensation Act, which would require employers to cover chiropractic care as outlined in the Public Health Code after January 1, 2009 for employees that become injured on or due to the job. Bill 973 proposes that insurers which provide for individual and group disability would be required to cover any chiropractic care under the new definition of chiropractic service, beginning after January 1, 2009.
This bill allows Michigan to return to the state it was in before the rewrite of the Public Health Code. This does several things for the state of Michigan. First, it allows chiropractors in Michigan to provide a much broader range of care to their patients in this state, which previously had the most strict regulations on chiropractic treatment. This will also help keep more graduating DC’s in Michigan, or attract others from out of state who would have otherwise chosen somewhere conducive to a more inclusive vision of chiropractic care. There are also arguments that say expanding this type of treatment will help curb the costs of the existing healthcare systems, by cutting back on expensive surgeries and hospital costs. Chiropractic care has also been shown to get disabled workers back to their jobs quicker, which helps with production and total business growth.