DETROIT, October 19, 2020 – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan today announced its 16th annual Strengthening the Safety Net program recipients. Forty-seven Michigan clinics were granted awards – totaling $866,400 – to continue providing free or low-cost medical, dental and mental health care services to uninsured or vulnerable Michigan residents, including treatment for illness related to COVID-19 and access to treatment for substance abuse disorder. “Blue Cross is proud to support safety net clinics across the state that continue to remain dedicated to building a healthier Michigan,” said Lynda Rossi, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan executive vice president of Government, Strategy and Public Affairs. “These clinic partners consistently demonstrate a commitment to improving the health of Michiganders and our communities and increasing access to affordable health care.” Since 2005, the Strengthening the Safety Net grant program has awarded nearly $16 million to clinics throughout Michigan. Program data shows more than 56,000 vulnerable residents will be patients of these facilities this year, over half of whom are uninsured. Without access to care at these clinics, 56 percent of a sample of patients reported they would go without needed health care services, while 22 percent would have sought treatment in the emergency room, a much higher-cost health care delivery setting. Clinics that provide free or low-cost medical, dental, mental health, vision and specialty care services were invited to apply for a Strengthening the Safety Net grant to support operations or expand services. In addition to the $866,400 in grants from Blue Cross, health care organizations offering primary care services received over $200,000 in matched funding. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is the largest private donor to Michigan’s free clinics. An overview of this year’s organizations receiving Strengthening the Safety Net grants is below. The following health care homes, or clinics, offer services for at least 30 hours per week, were awarded up to $25,000 each:
The following clinics, which provide urgent and episodic care and treat more than 100 uninsured or underinsured patients each year, were awarded up to $15,000 each:
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides health benefits to more than 4.7 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies residing outside the state. The company has been committed to delivering affordable health care products through a broad variety of plans for businesses, individuals and seniors for 80 years. Beyond health care coverage, BCBSM supports impactful community initiatives and provides leadership in improving health care. For more information, visit bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com.