2020 Annual Report: Here for Michigan

Blues Perspectives

| 3 min read

Group of masked individuals pack brown bags of food in an organized line.
Throughout a tragic, unprecedented and unpredictable year, Blue Cross stayed true to our longstanding mission of improving health for all Michiganders. Through volunteerism, corporate contributions and a strong social mission, we worked to meet stakeholders’ needs throughout the pandemic, expand access to health care services, enhance the quality of care patients receive and address major health issues to create a stronger, healthier future for the people we serve. In 2020, Blue Cross paid $85 million to the Michigan Health Endowment Fund – bringing our total payments to the independent fund to $610 million, allowing for it to continue making investments in local programs stateside to provide services and support to protect the health and wellbeing of Michigan’s most vulnerable people. As part of our social mission as a nonprofit mutual, Blue Cross supported people and communities in numerous other ways throughout 2020. Working with community-based organizations, we addressed food insecurity, helped seniors and other vulnerable populations, rapidly deployed access to telehealth services and expanded mobile testing for COVID-19. The efforts included:
  • Partnering with the BCBSM Foundation, the Michigan Health Endowment Fund and other foundations to award nearly $3 million to help Michigan care providers and safety net organizations rapidly expand telehealth services
  • Partnering with Wayne State University and ACCESS to offer free COVID-19 mobile testing for older adults, caregivers and first responders
  • Contributing $500,000 to address security for children and families
  • Donating Personal Protective Equipment to keep providers safe
  • Distributing 500 COVID-19 educational toolkits to community partners
  • Conducting 300 COVID-19 tests in the Detroit Neighborhood Initiative area in partnership with Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church
  • Addressing food insecurity with a $100,000 contribution to Gleaners Community Food Bank to support two mobile, refrigerated fresh food transport vans to increase access to healthy food in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Monroe counties
  • Distributing more than 700,000 care packages and tips to senior members who are considered at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19
In 2020, our support reached across the state of Michigan. Through the Building Health Communities program, 340 Michigan schools were equipped with resources to adapt during the pandemic. In normal school years, we focus on supporting healthier school environments with specific elements geared toward nutrition, movement and mental health. While that was still available in 2020, with so much upheaval and change, school districts were looking for innovative ways to address a variety of issues facing students, staff and administrators. In order to meet some of the need, the Building Healthy Communities: Step Up for School Wellness program adapted key programming to expand access to social and emotional support resources as well as helping schools meet the unique nutritional needs of their students. All Michigan schools were eligible to apply. Over the last 11 years of the program, more than 1,000 schools and 450,000 students have been impacted. $866,400 was also awarded to 47 clinics across the state through the Strengthening the Safety Net grant program in 2020. Funding enabled clinics in communities from Detroit to Grand Haven to Boyne City and places in between can serve people in need of essential health care. Read the full 2020 Annual Report
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association