2021 Annual Report: Leading the COVID-19 Response
Like many organizations across Michigan and the nation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network continued to pivot to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. We provided $860 million in support to members for testing, treatment and vaccine administration during 2021 – without factoring those costs into the premiums paid by our fully-insured customers and members in either 2021 or 2022.
We adapted and mobilized in new ways to serve our members and customers, support Michigan communities and partner with doctors and hospitals to ensure critical access to health care and COVID-19 vaccines were available. Here are some highlights of our response to the crisis:
Unparalleled support for members: Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has devoted $2.1 billion to support members, providers and employers.
To ensure members could access needed care during the onset of COVID-19, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan waived all member copays, deductibles and coinsurance for COVID-19 treatment through Sept. 30, 2021.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has paid more than $600 million for COVID-19 treatment for our members.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan paid more than $185 million for COVID-19 testing and more than $75 million for COVID-19 vaccine administration in 2021.
Trusted answers for our customers
To respond to the health crisis facing their employees and help them through unprecedented challenges facing the economy, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan provided our group customers with needed information, insight and support from their health care partner. We rapidly deployed a group customer command center and small group customer help line to quickly respond to questions, along with other support efforts.
Ongoing support for community needs
In addition to our members and customers, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s social mission and community responsibility functions are focused on the health of everyone in Michigan. For this reason, we continue to support community-based organizations to help address food insecurity for children and families, as well as organizations that help seniors and other vulnerable populations receive care and services. Throughout 2021, even after the first COVID-19 vaccines were approved and various segments of the population began to get vaccinated, finding a vaccine – or even information about where to get one – remained difficult in communities deemed most socially vulnerable by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Several Michigan organizations mobilized to help people living in these diverse communities find places to get vaccinated. We supported many of these efforts, promoting clinics at Ford Field and Meijer stores throughout the state. We funded several disability support services organizations across Michigan to prioritize sensitive access for the disabled to get vaccinated in an environment appropriate for their needs, and partnered with several agencies, such as the Samaritan Center, ACCESS, Yad Ezra, McDonald’s and the Detroit Pistons organization, who were offering pop-up and convenient drive-thru vaccination opportunities for specific regional communities.