DETROIT, August 9, 2023 – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan today announced $934,500 in grants to 50 Michigan health clinics to support their ability to provide free or low-cost medical, dental and behavioral health services to uninsured and underinsured community members. Since 2005, Blue Cross has awarded $19 million to health clinics statewide as part of its Strengthening the Safety Net program.
Strengthening the Safety Net grantees serve approximately 64,000 vulnerable Michigan residents annually. They are located in 24 Michigan counties and plan to provide over 185,000 free or low-cost visits this year. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is the single largest private funder of Michigan’s free clinics.
“Blue Cross is rooted in our social mission to improve the health and well-being of everyone in Michigan, and through these grants, we support health clinics as they provide screening and treatment for those who may have no other options or access to care,” said Ken Hayward, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan vice president and special assistant to the president for Community Relations. “This year is particularly challenging as the Medicaid redetermination process may result in patients losing the insurance coverage gained during the public health emergency. We expect even more people will need the care provided by these safety net clinics.”
In addition to providing care, grant recipients help patients explore coverage options and link them to services provided outside of the clinic that improve health such as food, housing and transportation. Ten safety net clinics offer services bilingually and bi-culturally. As in the past, leaders are required to participate in unconscious bias education and encourage staff and volunteers to also complete training.
For a full overview of the organizations receiving Strengthening the Safety Net grants this year, see here.
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 more than 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.