Statement from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in response to remarks made by Governor on health care

September 14, 2011

DETROIT — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan issued the following statement from Andrew Hetzel, vice president for Corporate Communications, in response to remarks made by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on health care earlier today in Grand Rapids, Mich.

On Blue Cross and Regulatory Reform

“Today the Governor acknowledged the need for reform to Michigan’s antiquated regulatory system and recognized the importance of Blue Cross’s nonprofit mission. Blue Cross supports a regulatory system in Michigan where all insurers play by the same rules. A modern system of balanced regulation will lead to fair competition and lower insurance costs for employers and consumers. Blue Cross has had ongoing discussions with the Governor, the Legislature and the Attorney General about the pressing need for reform. We look forward to continuing this dialogue and working together to update regulations that will help create a healthier Michigan.”

On Wellness

“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan appreciates Gov. Snyder’s focus on making Michigan healthier. The best way to ensure the affordability of health care and insurance is to get people to quit smoking, lose extra pounds, exercise regularly and work with their doctors. Blue Cross has proven that health insurance plans can be leveraged to get people to engage in improving their own health. Five years ago, the Blues launched Healthy Blue Living – Michigan’s first health plan to provide financial incentives for people to quit smoking and work more closely with their doctors. More than 100,000 Michiganders signed up. The Blues followed up with plan designs that reward people for demonstrating better health outcomes. Blue Cross believes that innovative health plan designs, wellness programs and strong relationships between primary care doctors and patients, lead to healthier people and lower costs.”

On Childhood Obesity

“Blue Cross applauds Gov. Snyder for elevating the public focus on the childhood obesity epidemic in Michigan. The prevalence of obesity among Michigan’s children is a health crisis that has the potential to rob our next generation of adults of a quality life, and to drive health care costs to unaffordable levels. Since 2009, Blue Cross has engaged schools and community partners across Michigan in programs to improve diet and exercise education for thousands of kids. This week, Blue Cross renewed our commitment with grants to 24 more elementary schools across Michigan. Blue Cross stands with the governor and is committed to working with him to create a healthier future for Michigan’s children.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a nonprofit corporation and independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Shield Association.