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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Says Guaranteed Access Provisions of Insurance Reform Bills Protect Michigan Consumers Twice-Over
Date:1/30/2008

Creating 'high risk pool' while preserving Blue Cross's nonprofit mission

gives Michigan consumers most secure insurance market in the nation

LANSING, Mich., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Creation of a Guaranteed Access Plan to provide insurance coverage to people rejected by commercial insurers and HMOs because of pre-existing medical conditions was the focus of testimony before the Michigan Senate Health Policy Committee today. The Senate is considering a package of House-passed legislation to reform Michigan's individual health insurance market to protect consumers.

Primarily financed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Guaranteed Access Plan (a so-called "high risk pool") would complement Blue Cross's ongoing responsibilities to accept everyone who applies for coverage to give Michigan consumers the most security possible as tens of thousands more individuals seek health insurance outside of employer groups every year.

"This legislation provides Michigan consumers with a double layer of security," said Andrew Hetzel, BCBSM vice president, corporate communications. "The bills preserve Blue Cross's historic nonprofit role, accepting everyone who applies for coverage, and providing millions of dollars beyond our tax benefits to keep health care affordable and promote access. At the same time, they create a means of obtaining coverage for people who are rejected by commercial insurance companies and stabilize the entire marketplace by spreading the responsibility for excess medical cost across all insurers.

"This is really the best of both worlds for Michigan consumers," Hetzel said.

A review of insurance nationally shows that 34 other states have adopted high risk pools to help cover individuals with serious medical conditions. In 29 states, high risk pools are subsidized by a financial assessment on all insurance carriers operating in the individual health insurance market. Many of these same carriers oppose
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SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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