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Snyder Calls for Big Changes for Blue Cross

Haveman and Snyder
Rick Pluta
Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Michigan would become a policyholder-owned company under changes outlined by Gov. Rick Snyder. The governor explains his proposal as Department of Community Health Director James Haveman looks on.

Governor Rick Snyder has called for some big changes for Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Michigan. He says Blue Cross should become a not-for-profit company that pays taxes and competes with other insurance companies.

Right now, Blue Cross is the only insurance company in Michigan that cannot reject applicants based on their age or health history. That will change in 2014 under the new federal health law, which says every insurer has to take anyone who applies.

The governor says Michigan needs to update its laws to keep up with that change – and others. But he still needs the approval of the Legislature and the Blue Cross board.

“This is not a done deal," he says. "The point here was to put out a proposal that I think was very sound, very logical.”

Blue Cross would become a customer-owned not-for-profit company that pays $100 million a year or more in taxes. But it would be able to make changes to its rates more quickly and easily. The whole plan relies on the federal health reforms surviving after the November elections.

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