New Model of Collaboration with Vermont Signals Future of Nonprofit Health Care

Karly Hurley

| 3 min read

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has a strong history of forming important partnerships within the national Blue Cross and Blue Shield system. Our partnerships with other Blue Plans enable growth, foster collaboration and help us serve our customers and members with innovative solutions while striving for affordability.

That is why we are pioneering a new way for nonprofit Blue Plans to work together. Pending regulatory approvals, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan intends to enter an affiliation with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont.

Why does this matter to our health plan members and customers? In fact, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network’s members will not see changes to the health plans they have today. Our members will continue to receive the same services from the same provider network, backed by the same customer service.

But opportunities born from deeper partnerships do promise benefits down the road. Our company’s diverse portfolio of businesses and partnerships allows us to enhance our core mission to serve members with high-quality, affordable health insurance while investing in our communities and managing costs.

Unlike mergers, this new model of collaboration preserves strong, local and committed health plans in our respective states. Health care organizations are consolidating nationally. We are taking a different approach. Affiliating allows us to take advantage of a greater scale to enable our two single state nonprofit Blue Plans to remain dedicated to our members.

We and the Vermont plan share a vision for the future. Our member-first philosophies, compatible cultures, commitment to our employees and appreciation for local values are the cornerstones of our affiliation.

This is an affiliation, not an acquisition, which means there is no financial exchange between our organizations. Each of our organizations will continue financially as single-state plans. The Vermont plan will become part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan enterprise family of companies – but premiums from Vermonters will stay in Vermont and will be used to pay Vermont member claims, fund capital reserves, and plan administration as is the case today. The Vermont plan will remain based there, with locally based customer service.

This partnership will allow us to share information technology, expertise and operational resources. By doing so, we intend to reduce the cost of future investments. The benefits of our partnership will grow from our combined strengths and effort.

As a diversified organization, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan strives to make health care costs affordable and predictable for members and group customers, while offering high-quality health care solutions and a best-in-class provider network. These goals are shared by our new partners in Vermont. Working together under this new approach to partnership, we look forward to advancing nonprofit health care benefitting our members, customers, providers and communities far into the future.
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association