Governor Whitmer Signs Bills to Support Small Businesses, Improve Insurance Processes

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Senate Bill 247 and House Bills 4205, 4206, 4332, 4994 and 5541 into law Thursday.

“Today, I will be signing six bipartisan bills, adding on to the over 800 bipartisan bills I have signed since taking office,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Today’s bills will make insurance benefit preauthorization more accessible, support winter recreation and shoe repair businesses, and amend the state bar admittance process. I am proud to sign these bills and will continue to work with anyone to get things done. Together, we can continue delivering on the kitchen-table issues that matter most to Michiganders, growing our economy, and creating good-paying jobs.”

Senate Bill 247 would amend the Insurance Code. This is to increase the transparency with insurers and decrease consumer wait times for prescription drugs and services that require prior authorization. Prior authorization is when an insurer most approve coverage for requested services, prescriptions or medications before they are received by a covered individual.

The bill shortens the time for insurers to consider prior authorization requests before they are approved and makes insurers provide more information to the public and health care providers regarding the prior authorization process.

“Today’s action by Gov. Whitmer to sign this overwhelmingly bipartisan legislation will directly help patients across Michigan,” said state Senator VanderWall, R-Ludington. “This new law reforms the prior authorization process, which has created barriers and inefficiencies with access and quality of care in the health care system. It will promote transparency of practices used by insurers, allowing enrollees and health care providers to be fully informed while making coverage and care decisions.”

“While the intent behind the prior authorization process is to promote safe, timely, and cost-effective care, the process itself has been widely viewed as inefficient and burdensome,” VanderWall said. “This can directly affect the treatment and care a patient receives and could pose significant risks to a patient’s health. This law will help improve the process and ultimately benefit patients.”

House Bills 4205 and 4206 allow individuals to operate snowmobile-on-snowmobile trails without the required registration or trail permit one weekend before the start of each snowmobile season.

House Bill 4332 states that a two-wheel off-road recreation vehicle must have the license attached at either the center of the rear fender or visible on a front suspension.

House Bill 4994 allows shoe repair businesses to donate unclaimed shoes if they have been unclaimed for six months or longer.

“This is a victory for Michigan’s small businesses and their communities,” said state Representative Angela Witwer, D-Delta Township. “This bill supports entrepreneurs and charities at the same time. Cobblers get to clear out space and charities receive high-quality footwear. When it comes to those in need, we must do better, and this bill helps make that vision a reality.”

House Bill 5541 amends the Revised Judicature Act to allow individuals to utilize their Uniform Bar Examination scores when seeking admission to the State Bar of Michigan.

“With the Governor’s signature, Michigan keeps pace with 40 other jurisdictions that have already implemented the Uniform Bar Exam, score portability makes our state more attractive to law school graduates nationwide and gives our state’s law firms and businesses more tools for attracting the best legal talent,” said Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack.