In 2019, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will celebrate its 80th anniversary. That’s 80 years of increasing access to affordable health care, enhancing patient care and improving the health of Michigan’s citizens and communities. But we didn’t get here on our own. Throughout the year, we’re expressing gratitude and thankfulness for the people and places that have shaped who we are.
Although a lot has changed over 80 years, one constant is the valuable partnerships we’ve forged throughout that time.
Making Michigan healthier is work made lighter through the many hands undertaking on-the-ground efforts in places where people live and work. We’re grateful for the many organizations and people we partner with throughout the state that help us do that.
Here are some of their stories.
Many of the kids and families who show up at Detroit-based The Children’s Center are in crisis. It’s a healing place and Blue Cross employees have been active volunteers there.
Since it began in 2004, the Grand Rapids Griffins’ Put a Lid On It program has prompted thousands of kids across West Michigan to make a pledge that will help keep them safer. We’ve been proud to support these efforts.
The annual State Games of Michigan celebrates participation, sportsmanship and healthy living. We’ve been happy to support this inspiring event as it embodies our mission to help all Michiganders pursue a healthy lifestyle.
The abundance of farmers markets in Michigan didn’t happen by chance. Behind the scenes, the Michigan Farmers Market Association helps farmers and vendors sustain a thriving marketplace and works to ensure access for Michiganders everywhere, healthy advocacy we’re thankful for.
The Children’s Center: Healing Detroit Families
Griffins to Give Away Bike Helmets for Kids
Covered by Blue Cross for 78 Years
State Games of Michigan Celebrating 10 Years
Winter Training Fuels Summer Goals for Couple
The United Dairy Industry of Michigan is dedicated to being the credible source of information on Michigan dairy farming, local dairy products and nutrition. They’ve also been an amazing partner when it comes to our Building Healthy Communities program.
Photo credit: Dragon ImagesLearn more
The MSU Extension is an invaluable resource for individuals, communities and businesses. Programming promotes healthy lifestyles and empowers Michigan residents to take control of their health. We’ve been proud to partner on our Building Healthy Communities program.
Photo credit: wikimediaLearn more
During the 1930s, hospitals went bankrupt and two of every three doctor bills went unpaid. The time was right for a new idea: prepaid health care. The Michigan Society for Group Hospitalization, a forerunner of Blue Cross, signs its first subscriber.
The Michigan Medical Service, a forerunner of Blue Shield, starts up with a $10,000 loan from the Michigan State Medical Society. The Michigan Society for Group Hospitalization changes its name to Michigan Hospital Service and starts using the Blue Cross symbol.
Individual health plans are marketed for the first time, while Michigan Blue Cross and Michigan Blue Shield develop and market health plans for individual senior citizens who are not eligible for group coverage.
As medical care improves and health care costs rise, many can’t afford health care. To address this problem, Medicare and Medicaid are enacted, and the government selects Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to administer the program.
In 1975, Michigan Blue Cross and Michigan Blue Shield consolidate into a single corporation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan, with customers and subscribers increasing their majority control of the new board of directors to 59 percent.
Blue Cross offers hospitals a new reimbursement contract that replaces the fixed-payment per-case system with a cost-based, global payment system. Eventually, all community hospitals in the state agree to participate.
New regional service centers open in downtown Grand Rapids, Marquette and Portage. The Bricktown Customer Service Plaza building opens in downtown Detroit adjacent to the Blues’ existing downtown 21-story office tower.
Blue Cross launches a new statewide physical activity program called WalkingWorks, led by Hall of Fame broadcaster Ernie Harwell, an avid walker. Daniel J. Loepp is selected by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Board of Directors to become CEO in 2005, a role he still holds today.
The Michigan Legislature passes bills allowing the Board of Directors to transition the company to a tax-paying, nonprofit mutual insurer. Blue Cross begins operating as a nonprofit mutual insurance company and holds its first member meeting in 2014.