Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is guided by a mission: to increase access to affordable health care and improve the health of our members and communities. Our commitment is unwavering – even in times of crisis. While the COVID-19 pandemic continued to change our world and create uncertainty throughout 2021, our company stood strong for our members, customers, partners and communities – just as we have for 83 years. The 2021 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Annual Report shows our dedication to those we serve. Our employees work hard to continue earning our position as Michigan’s leading health insurer and advance health care by driving innovation and transformation.
Sustaining the health care ecosystem
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has delivered unprecedented support to keep the health care ecosystem stable and functioning during the pandemic. In 2021 we committed $860 million to COVID cost-sharing, testing, treatment and vaccine administration; importantly, this financial commitment was not factored into health insurance premiums in either 2021 or 2022. We took several measures to increase access to vaccines by partnering on statewide initiatives, hosting dozens of community events and reaching out directly to hundreds of thousands of our vulnerable members. We increased our commitment to building awareness and resolving health care disparities and other inequities that disproportionately impact communities of color. We paid more than $80 million per day in claims and benefits to serve our members in 2021.
Inclusion and Diversity
Our employees are passionate about being leaders in advancing Inclusion and Diversity. In 2021, we continued expanding our programs in the community and practices at work to ensure that we are making a difference. We are identifying and resolving issues that impact care – including bias, health equity and cultural competency – through our Office of Health and Health Care Disparities and Physician Diversity Council. We provided unconscious bias education to more than 5,000 physicians in 2021 and were forerunners to a Michigan law that requires medical professionals to complete similar training for licensing.
Creating healthier communities with healthy futures is also essential to our commitment to our home state. Our outreach comes in many forms. In 2021, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan partnered with ChenMed opened six primary care centers in Southeast Michigan that have traditionally lacked access to comprehensive primary care. We awarded Building Healthy Communities grants to more than 200 schools, reaching more than 90,000 students with sustainable programs that promote healthy diet and exercise habits. We paid another $100 million to the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to protect the vulnerable – another step to fulfill our 18-year, $1.56 billion commitment. We remained the single largest private funder of free clinics in Michigan, providing more than $16 million since 2005.
Driven by our members
In my view, this year’s annual report shows the strength and reliability of our company. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members have confidence in their access to quality, affordable health care – anytime, anywhere. Because our members are also our neighbors, friends and family, we will always work hard to ensure people find comfort and security for having a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan card.