In 1939 – two years before the bombing at Pearl Harbor brought America into World War II – groups of Michigan doctors and hospitals formed prepaid health care plans that would become Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Times have changed significantly since that bygone era. But our mission at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan remains the same – to protect Michigan’s people and improve their health. The sustainability of our nonprofit mission over time doesn’t mean the efforts behind it have been the same since 1939. The best nonprofits adapt their charitable focus to meet current and future needs of the community – not those of the past. In 1980, Blue Cross’ mission was overhauled to enable the state to create a safety net for people with pre-existing conditions who couldn’t find health insurance. Blue Cross became “insurer of last resort.” The upside was that Blue Cross was here to cover people who need healthcare most. The downside was that the mission of the Blues allowed the rest of our industry to take advantage and avoid covering people who are more costly to insure. It’s been 32 years since 1980, and healthcare and the needs of our state have again changed significantly. Blue Cross stands prepared to refocus and sustain our nonprofit mission to meet these needs, and those of tomorrow. We invite you to preview a 30-second message that spotlights our promise, below, and visit our “Caring for Michigan” website with more information.
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