The state Legislature wrapped up work Tuesday on a bipartisan set of reforms to modernize Michigan’s health insurance market, sending bills that authorize Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to become a nonprofit mutual to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature.
The state Senate gave final OK to Senate Bills 61 and 62, which the House overwhelmingly approved last week and the Senate passed in January.
As I said in a statement posted earlier today, this is a huge achievement for both lawmakers and Gov. Snyder, who proposed the changes in September 2012. We’re thrilled that legislators gave this package priority in the new session and for the deliberative, bipartisan support shown throughout the process.
By establishing consistent regulations for all health insurers, the legislation ensures that BCBSM, which next year marks 75 years of doing business, can continue its commitments to a healthier Michigan and its nonprofit mission.
I am personally committed to making sure that the transition to the nonprofit mutual structure is seamless for our customers and business partners, with no interruptions in service or changes in health coverage. At a time of great change in the health care industry, we have an enormous responsibility to help point the way forward for our customers and help them to make good choices.
We’ll be communicating regularly with our stakeholders throughout the year, and I’ll have more to say about the legislation once it clears its final hurdle.
In the meantime, you can read more about what the changes mean here.
Daniel J. Loepp is president and chief executive of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.