At Blue Cross, Our Mission is to Improve Health for All
At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, we come to work every day passionate about improving our members’ health in Michigan and across the nation.
This calling has never been more apparent or urgent in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The needs of people in Michigan and across the country have increased substantially as evidenced by rising rates of food insecurity and housing instability.
Throughout this past year, we’ve made sure our members had access to the care they needed by supporting new avenues for treatment, waiving costs and supporting vulnerable seniors. Beyond caring for our members, we also made strategic investments to support the needs of the communities we serve.
And although the need was greater in 2020, it’s our mission every year to better the health of all Michiganders, member or not. Here are just some of the ways our mission of better health for all came to life this past year:
We’ve supported our communities.
Early in the pandemic, we spent more than $500,000 to address food insecurity for children and families and to support seniors and other vulnerable populations. We partnered with Wayne State University, the Wayne State University Physician Group and ACCESS to expand COVID-19 mobile testing to include free testing directly in Southeast Michigan communities at nursing homes, care facilities, churches and other sites throughout the region. We also partnered with community organizations and businesses to provide free flu shot clinics in underserved neighborhoods throughout Michigan. Recently, we partnered with the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation to provide nearly $300,000 to community organizations addressing housing instability and homelessness for underserved populations.
We’ve partnered to help educators focus on mental health.
Since 2009, we’ve helped more than 450,000 children through our Building Healthy Communities program. While a focus on healthy foods and physical activity is always an important part of the program, this year schools were able to implement resources available in virtual, hybrid and/or face-to-face formats to address the mental health and well-being of students and teachers. More than 340 schools statewide were awarded BHC programming in January.
We’ve continued to improve health care access.
We believe everyone deserves high-quality care. In 2020, we provided $866,400 in grants to 47 safety net clinics, making us Michigan’s largest private donor to clinics that provide free or low-cost medical and dental treatment for uninsured and vulnerable Michigan residents. Along with the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, and other foundations, we awarded nearly $3 million to help safety net organizations rapidly expand telehealth services. We also were part of a coalition of partners providing nearly $650,000 to Michigan-based, non-profit health care providers to implement suicide-prevention interventions that are evidence-based and sustainable. Our commitment to Michigan’s safety net is longstanding – since 2005, we’ve awarded more than $16 million in grants, which have enabled volunteer doctors and nurses at these clinics to care for thousands of people every year. Take a look inside one of the clinics we’ve supported.
We’ve continued to partner with providers.
When the pandemic hit Michigan, health systems, physician practices and dental and vision provider offices experienced significant disruption. We provided financial support to Michigan hospitals, donated protective equipment and collaborated with hospitals to share clinical data for COVID-19 treatment. The use of telehealth rose dramatically for primary care and behavioral health providers, enabled in part by Blue Cross support. Additionally, we expanded the reach of Blueprint for Affordability, our transformative, risk-sharing payment model, to an additional seven provider partners.
This ongoing work – grounded in community and involving partners in care – is having a meaningful, tangible impact on the health care services people receive today. It also is helping lead Michigan to a healthier future. We at Blue Cross are invested in these efforts and the goal behind them — as we have been for nearly 82 years in Michigan.
Learn more about our COVID-19 response here.