Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Moves to Protect Workforce from COVID-19 While Ensuring Continued Critical Operations for Members and Customers
by Meghan O'Brien
| 2 min read
DETROIT, March 11, 2020 – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan informed its employees today of several steps the company is taking to protect its workforce from the COVID-19 virus, while also preserving critical operations to provide members and customers with continued access to care during the national public health crisis impacting communities across the country. “With the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan, Blue Cross is quickly taking steps to protect our workforce while maintaining operations that are critical to the health of the people we serve,” said Daniel J. Loepp, BCBSM president and CEO. “We agree with Gov. Whitmer’s call for companies like ours to expand opportunities for employees to work remotely and virtually and cancel large meetings. We are putting those types of changes into effect immediately.”
- BCBSM will require eligible employees not currently participating in its remote work program, “BlueSpace,” to work remotely 2 or 3 days per week. This will lower the daily number of employees at BCBSM facilities and lessen the potential threat of virus transmission.
- Ten customer walk-in service centers will close March 16-April 5. The centers are in Detroit, Grand Rapids (2), Flint, Holland, Lansing, Marquette, Portage, Southfield and Traverse City.
- The company is suspending all but the most essential business air travel through April 30.
- Visitors to company facilities will be required to complete a questionnaire about their recent travel activity as a condition of entering.
- Facilities will be cleaned and sanitized on a more frequent schedule starting immediately, with emphasis placed on buildings and work areas where large numbers of employees work daily.
- Large, in-person meetings will be rescheduled or held virtually using online platforms.
“We are taking steps to lessen the potential impact of the virus spreading within our workforce, but we also have an obligation to continue critical operations,” Loepp said. “There are telephone customer service and claims processing functions that our members depend upon and that require our employees to report to our facilities. These operations will continue, but we will significantly enhance our cleaning and sanitizing efforts around our employees’ workspaces.” 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 and administers health benefits to more than 4.5 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com.