The Detroit Free Press got to the heart of the matter this morning in its editorial endorsing Gov. Snyder’s proposal to enable Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to transition to become a nonprofit mutual insurer – it is “good for Michigan.” As this infographic illustrates, there is a lot of financial benefit to the state to make this change now. There is also the practical benefit of having a functional regulatory system in place as the health insurance market begins a tectonic shift next year because of the federal Affordable Care Act. Next year, potentially more than one million Michiganders will buy their health insurance on a brand new online exchange. It’s vital that Michigan is prepared to have that marketplace function well, by having a modern system of regulations underlying the exchange that allow all health insurers to compete on a level playing field. At Blue Cross, we recognize that all insurers aren’t treated equally. The Blues have a history of doing more, as a nonprofit, than our competitors to provide security for the people of our state. Frankly, more is expected of Blue Cross – and this is why we are committed to making an unprecedented contribution of $1.5 billion to a new charity created by the state to pursue programs that improve people’s health and protect the vulnerable, including seniors. Our 73-year-old promise of helping Michigan build a healthier future isn’t ending. It’s transforming to be right for the times. Today’s House Insurance Committee public hearing in Lansing will be the 12th overall on modernizing our 32-year-old regulatory system to make it work for consumers. Many voices have contributed to the making of good legislation. We encourage the House to pass these bills before the end of the year. Photo credit: Michigan Municipal League
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