Michigan Business and Professional Association Applauds Governor's Plan to Modernize Health Insurance as Hearings Begin

Plan Transitions Blue Cross to Nonprofit Mutual Insurance Company

LANSING, Mich., Sept. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michigan Business and Professional Association (MBPA) and its sister organization the Michigan Food and Beverage Association (MFBA) today applauded Governor Rick Snyder's proposal to modernize health insurance regulations in Michigan as hearings began in the Legislature. MBPA said transitioning Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to a nonprofit mutual insurance company owned by its policyholders will strengthen Michigan's position in a modern health care market.

"This type of action has been needed for a long time and we feel it will benefit Michigan's business community," said Jennifer Kluge, President and CEO of both organizations. "It streamlines and simplifies regulations, which will reduce costs for employers and help to create jobs. Michigan businesses look forward to working with Governor Snyder and policymakers in our effort to modernize Michigan's outdated health insurance market and level the playing field so everyone plays by the same rules."

Among other provisions, Governor Snyder's proposal will allow Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to transition its corporate structure to a nonprofit mutual insurance company, which would be regulated under the Michigan Insurance Code like all other health insurers in the state and reduce the role of state government in health care. In addition, the governor's plan requires Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to contribute about $1.5 billion over 18 years to a new nonprofit entity whose purpose is to fund initiatives that foster healthier lifestyles, provide better access to health care and improve public health.

The governor's plan now has to go forward for approval by the Michigan Legislature and be supported by the BCBSM Board.

"We encourage our Legislature and the Blue Cross directors to seriously consider and support this proposal. We see it as an important move on Michigan's strong path to resurgence and economic strength," concluded Kluge.

Based in Warren, Mich., the MBPA is the largest business organization of small to medium-sized businesses in Michigan, representing more than 20,000 members who employ over 160,0000 persons. Members include attorneys, physicians, architects, accountants, construction companies, banks, retail, wholesalers, manufacturers and the like.  Member businesses receive numerous benefits including free legal and financial consultations; discounted technology, automotive and office products; employee training and recruitment assistance; and competitive group insurance rates. The MBPA is a sister association to the Michigan Food & Beverage Association (MFBA).

For further information:

Jennifer Kluge 586-393-8800 office
586-202-1441 cell
Sue Voyles 734-667-2005 office
734-635-3831 cell

SOURCE Michigan Business and Professional Association