Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan applauds Senate’s swift action on passage of Gov. Snyder’s health insurance reform legislation
Jan. 31, 2013
DETROIT — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan issued the following statement today following state Senate passage of legislation (Senate Bills 61 and 62) that modernizes Michigan’s health insurance regulatory system and enables BCBSM to transition to a nonprofit mutual insurance company. The legislation requires BCBSM to pay state and local taxes, and also requires that BCBSM contribute up to $1.56 billion over the next 18 years to a separate nonprofit fund to improve public health and help the vulnerable access affordable care.
“The legislation passed today reflects a significant investment of time and effort by the entire Legislature,” said Andrew Hetzel, BCBSM vice president for corporate communications. “It’s an outcome of a long, bipartisan, deliberative, inclusive process by lawmakers to include multiple points of view in fashioning a modern, efficient system of health insurance regulation for Michigan.”
“Our industry is facing a year of significant change with the opening of the health exchange,” Hetzel said. “Consistent regulations are necessary now, to enable a functional marketplace and ensure Blue Cross can participate on the health exchange along with our competitors. The Senate is moving a bill that creates a fair system where all insurers play by the same rules and where market forces ensure greater competition and choice of affordable health insurance plans. We ask for continued prompt attention by lawmakers within the first quarter of this year as the legislation now moves to the Michigan House of Representatives.”
The Senate Insurance Committee held three hearings in 2011, four hearings in 2012 and received testimony from numerous individuals and organizations during its work on these bills. In similar bills passed in 2012, amendments were included by the Senate and House committees to accommodate input from multiple viewpoints. The legislation has broad consensus support from the health care industry, business community, leading health organizations and major newspapers.
“This legislation gives Michigan a modern and efficient health insurance system and continues the Blues’ longstanding nonprofit charitable contributions for the coming decades,” Hetzel said.
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 news and information go to http://bcbsm.com/news and http://mibluesperspectives.com