Woman discussing diagnosis with her doctor

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Safety Net grant program applications accepted through June 3

DETROIT, May 4, 2022 – Health care clinics across the state are invited to apply for grants through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Strengthening the Safety Net program. Since 2005, Blue Cross has invested over $17 million in safety net grants to increase access to affordable health care and improve health equity. Each year, these grants have helped nearly 50 clinics across Michigan provide free or low-cost care for uninsured and underinsured residents.

The Strengthening the Safety Net program offers grants to community-based and volunteer clinics providing medical, dental and mental health, vision and pharmaceutical assistance to those who are vulnerable across Michigan. Emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, this program encourages patients to return for routine care and urges clinics to strengthen relationships with local public health departments.

Chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity, require routine care and are among the most common causes of illness, disability and death in the U.S. People of color and low-income individuals experience higher incidences and worse outcomes from these diseases. By teaming up with local public health departments, grantees can help patients access services, such as coronavirus, flu and other immunizations, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) services, lead and other health screenings, food assistance, and other clinical services offered locally. As part of the safety net grant program requirements, clinic leadership also must participate in unconscious bias education.

“Connecting Michigan’s most vulnerable populations to quality, affordable health care and improving health equity are central to the Strengthening the Safety Net program,” said Ken Hayward, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan vice president and special assistant to the president for Community Relations. “Our grantees play a critical role in serving as a safe and equitable source of health care for their communities. Blue Cross reaffirms our historic commitment to improving the health of all Michiganders and further widening Michigan’s safety net of health care providers.”

Applicants may apply for a grant to support clinic operations or services as a medical or dental home.

  1. Clinic operations – Safety net clinics that provide episodic care, are open for limited hours and treat more than 100 uninsured and underinsured patients annually are eligible to apply for up to $15,000 to support their operations, including clinical and patient navigation services.
  2. Medical and dental homes – Clinics that serve as medical or dental homes and are open for at least 30 hours per week, or bill Medicaid, are eligible to apply for up to $25,000 to support team-based care, including clinical and patient navigation services. Awards at this level require a $10,000 match.

Eligible clinics can now apply for grants through Friday, June 3. Final award amounts will be based on the number of applications received, the scope of applications submitted and the amount of funding available. All materials must be submitted via the online application form, which is accessible at bcbsm.com/safetynet. Any questions can be directed to [email protected].

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides health benefits to more than 4.7 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies residing outside the state. The company has been committed to delivering affordable health care products through a broad variety of plans for businesses, individuals and seniors for more than 80 years. Beyond health care coverage, BCBSM supports impactful community initiatives and provides leadership in improving health care. For more information, visit bcbsm.com and MIBluesPerspectives.com.