DETROIT, May 5, 2016 – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is awarding grants to safety net clinics across the state through its Strengthening the Safety Net program. The program, now in its 12th year, provides free or low-cost medical and dental treatment for uninsured, under-insured or newly insured Michigan residents. According to Kaiser Family Foundation, there are still nearly 700,000 uninsured individuals in Michigan. Eligible clinics can apply for grants through June 9. “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has invested more than $11 million in free and low-cost clinics that help more than 60,000 people access health care services each year,” said Lynda Rossi, executive vice president at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Supporting the professionals and volunteers who work at these clinics is one way we fulfill our social mission to expand access to health care services, enhance the quality of care and address major health issues to create a healthier Michigan.” Clinics that provide free or low-cost medical, dental, mental health, vision and specialty care services can apply for the Strengthening the Safety Net grants in the following categories:
- Clinic operations: Clinics that provide urgent and episodic care and treat more than 100 uninsured or underinsured patients each year are eligible for up to $10,000 to support their operations.
- Primary care: Clinics that provide primary care and treat more than 1,000 uninsured or underinsured patients each year are eligible for up to $25,000 to support team-based approaches to health care. Funding at this level requires a $10,000 match.
According to Healthy People 2020, people with a regular source of health care have better health outcomes and fewer disparities and costs. As in the past, all grantees are also expected to provide health insurance enrollment services and clinical quality assurance. New this year is a requirement for applicants to connect patients with services that contribute to overall well-being, such as housing, job placement, nutrition and social support services. Clinics interested in applying for the Strengthening the Safety Net grants can join an informational conference call on May 17 at 2 p.m. or May 19 at 10 a.m. to get more details. To join, call 800-462-5837 and enter meeting ID 613530#. Application materials are available at bcbsm.com/safetynet. Questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Grants will be announced by July 29. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.5 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and MIBluesPerspectives.com.