Now that Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law his plan to transition Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to a nonprofit mutual insurer and modernize Michigan’s regulatory system, the Blues are preparing for a new era of health care leadership in Michigan. This landmark legislation means that Michigan will have a competitive marketplace where all insurers play by the same rules, and it enables our board of directors to transition our company to a mutual insurance company. By now, many of you have probably heard that the Blues are changing due to the legislation but don’t know exactly how. What will the changes and new regulations mean for our customers? Rest assured that the transition to a mutual insurer, which will take place over the coming months, won’t disrupt anyone’s current coverage or any of our numerous partnerships with hospitals and physicians to improve health care quality. Our unique nonprofit mission and commitment to Michigan remains strong. We’ve been focused on building a healthier Michigan for 74 years. Our new business structure won’t change any of that. There are a number of steps we will be taking during 2013 to become a new nonprofit mutual insurance company that will involve working closely with our Board of Directors and state regulators. We expect to complete the process by Jan. 1, 2014. While this is underway, we remain committed to providing our customers with unsurpassed health care access, value and quality at competitive prices. In fact, the new mutual structure will help us put our customer commitment into even sharper focus by positioning us for larger changes coming under federal health care reform. The new law benefits Michigan by creating a new insurance regulatory system that is among the nation’s best. That’s critical, since the health care industry is poised to see significant transformation under the Affordable Care Act starting in 2014. The new regulations will ensure fair and balanced competition in Michigan as our industry adjusts to tremendous changes. More background on the governor’s plan is available here on Blues Perspectives. You can also read our news release hailing the governor’s signature. Daniel J. Loepp is president and chief executive of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
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