Michigan Chamber of Commerce Supports Governor's Plan To Modernize Health Insurance Marketplace

LANSING, Mich., Nov. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Michigan Chamber of Commerce today announced its support for Governor Snyder's plan to modernize the state's health insurance marketplace by transitioning Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan into a nonprofit mutual insurance company as proposed in Senate Bills 1293 and 1294.

Coming changes to federal health regulations have created uncertainty for Michigan businesses as they look to comply with new laws and provide competitive benefits for their employees. As regulated by Public Act 350, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's current governance structure, unique regulatory treatment and $100 million per year tax-exempt status no longer makes sense for Michigan.

"The Governor's proposal to modernize Michigan's health insurance marketplace would level the playing field for insurance carriers, allowing them to operate under one set of regulatory rules," said Wendy Block, Director of Health Policy & Human Resources for the Michigan Chamber. "The Michigan Chamber supports the proposed transition for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

"The Governor's plan, which is included in Senate Bills 1293 and 1294 works to level the playing field and get government out of the way, thereby allowing purchasers to make individual purchasing decisions," added Block. "This ends the cross-subsidization of Medigap policies by purchasers of group policies, and it promotes a healthier population by transitioning BCBSM's nonprofit/social mission into a new entity that will invest in health and wellness initiatives."

Senate Bills 1293 and 1294 passed the Senate in October and are currently before the House Insurance Committee. The Committee has held four lengthy hearings taking hours of testimony and plans further action in the coming weeks.

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is a statewide business organization representing approximately 6,400 employers, trade associations and local chambers of commerce. The Michigan Chamber represents businesses of every size and type in all 83 counties of the state. Michigan Chamber member businesses provide jobs to 1.5 million residents. One of every 2.6 employees in Michigan works for a Chamber member firm. The Michigan Chamber was established in 1959 to be an advocate for Michigan's job providers in the legislative, political and legal process. It is one of only six state chambers accredited by the U.S. Chamber and one of only four state chambers accredited with distinction.

SOURCE Michigan Chamber of Commerce