Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan continues funding for free clinics to strengthen Michigan's safety net

Grant applications for funding now being accepted through July 9

May 22, 2012

DETROIT — As Michigan continues to make economic progress, many residents still live without health insurance — with more than 1 million Michigan residents currently uninsured. Many of these people rely on locally-operated, nonprofit clinics as access points for healthcare. Through its "Strengthening the Safety Net" program, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan provides continuous support for the uninsured and underinsured — and today the company announced it is again accepting requests for funding clinics in 2012. Applications from Michigan free clinics providing health care services to the state’s uninsured and underinsured populations will be accepted until July 9, 2012. Notice of Intent to Apply is due by June 21, 2012.

"Blue Cross is proactively working with safety net providers around the state to help free clinics continue their important mission of providing uninsured Michigan residents with access to quality health care," said Lynda Rossi, Blues senior vice president of Public Affairs and Chief of Staff. "Access to quality health care helps people stay healthier, keeps them out of the emergency room, and saves the health care system money."

Free clinics can apply for non-competitive grants of at least $15,000 and/or a limited number of competitive grants of up to $50,000. Awarded funds can be earmarked for improvements or initiatives like streamlining office operations through technology upgrades, collaborating with area hospitals and other healthcare organizations to increase patient volume, or expanding clinic services to include women’s health care, dental care, behavioral health services, etc.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has provided more than $7 million in grants to free clinics since 2005, and as the national health reform law changes how people buy health insurance and receive health care services, many of Michigan's free clinics will continue to play a vital role in providing quality health care to uninsured residents across the state. An estimated six to nine percent of the population under age 65 is expected to remain uninsured post national health care reform.

Last year, 53 clinics in 32 counties received grants. For more information on the grant program and the application process, visit "How to apply for a Strengthening the Safety Net grant."

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.3 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. The company offers a broad variety of plans including Community Blue, Simply Blue and Healthy Blue Incentives PPOs; Blue Care Network HMO; BCN Healthy Blue Living; Flexible Blue plans compatible with health savings accounts; Medicare Advantage; Part D Prescription Drug plans; and MyBlue products in the under-age-65 individual market. BCBSM also offers dental, vision and hearing plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit

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