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Schuette: Changes to Blue Cross Overhaul Bills Not Enough To Protect Seniors

Michigan’s attorney general says state lawmakers must add more safeguards for seniors to legislation that would overhaul Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. 

Bill Schuette testified Monday before the House Insurance Committee.

Schuette says bills passed last month by the Senate did not do enough to make sure Blue Cross continues to offer Medigap plans to seniors. The program covers costs that Medicare doesn’t.

The attorney general says the proposal would drastically cut funding for Medigap, and only requires Blue Cross to offer it through 2016.

“I think the last thing we want is to have skyrocketing Medigap rates, or Medigap disappear altogether,” he says.

Blue Cross officials say the measure gives seniors plenty of time to switch to more comprehensive and affordable plans.

The legislation would end Blue Cross’ tax exempt status. In return, the state would have less oversight of the Michigan’s largest health insurer.

Jake Neher is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He covers the State Legislature and other political events in Lansing.
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