Supporting Communities Through the Michigan Health Endowment Fund

Blues Perspectives

| 2 min read

Father and daughter talking to a doctor online
For 83 years, Blue Cross has had one consistent purpose — to help the people of Michigan live healthier lives. Providing high-quality health care is just one of many ways we’re achieving that goal. Supporting vulnerable people in our cities and towns is another. In 2013, we took steps to become a nonprofit mutual insurer. As part of this transition, enacted by Michigan’s legislature and governor, the Michigan Health Endowment Fund came into being. The Health Fund is an independent, nonprofit philanthropic foundation that works to improve the health and wellness of vulnerable Michigan residents, with a focus on children and older adults BCBSM finances it through payments of millions of dollars annually, with the purpose of improving the health of Michigan residents while reducing the cost of health care. As the sole patron, Blue Cross committed to paying $1.56 billion over the course of 18 years to the Health Fund. In 2022, we’re committing $100 million to the fund, bringing the total paid to $710 million so far. With every payment, we help the Health Fund subsidize organizations with the intent of making a positive, measurable impact on the health of vulnerable populations everywhere in Michigan. Last year, the Health Fund awarded 174 grants, totaling $34.5 million. This included $1 million in COVID-19 vaccine outreach support to help respond to respond to the unique state of today’s health environment. “The pandemic has intensified Michigan’s most critical health issues, and in doing so, it has reinforced the importance of the Health Fund’s mission,” said Neel Hajra, CEO, Michigan Health Endowment Fund. “As our partners and collaborators join us in taking on strained food systems, increased social isolation, a growing mental health crisis, and more, we’re grateful for our partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and their commitment to the health of Michigan residents and their communities.” Additionally, the Health Fund supports locally driven and statewide programs in these focus areas:
  • Behavioral health
  • Healthy aging
  • Access to healthy food
  • Wellness and fitness
  • Infant mortality
  • Technology enhancements
  • Health-related transportation
  • Foodborne illness prevention
More detail is available about the Health Fund’s 2021 activities in its year-end report. In 2022, BCBSM will continue to support the Health Fund in promoting the mental and physical wellness of Michigan residents. Through collaboration and responsible stewardship, we will continue our years of work toward a brighter, healthier future.
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association