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Examination by National Expert Shows Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's Social Mission Contributions Totaled at Least $391 Million in 2007
Date:1/30/2008

LANSING, Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- A report issued today by Avalere Health, an independent and nationally renowned health policy consultancy based in Washington, D.C., confirms that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan contributed at least $391 million to the people of Michigan in 2007 through an array of initiatives that further BCBSM's mission to improve access to health coverage at affordable prices. The $391 million in "social mission" contributions far exceed the $80 million in state and local tax exemptions provided to nonprofit BCBSM under state law.

"Using conservative numbers, and not counting the additional impacts of being insurer of last resort, this examination affirms the depth and breadth of Blue Cross Blue Shield's unique mission," said Andrew Hetzel, BCBSM vice president, corporate communications. "This study confirms that the state's investment of tax free status for BCBSM is returning significant dividends to the people of Michigan -- perhaps far exceeding those delivered in any other state by an independent nonprofit Blues plan.

"This examination makes a clear case for maintaining the Blues' historic role under Public Act 350 of 1980, while also creating a fair system to guarantee access to health insurance that the entire insurance industry is responsible for maintaining for the long-term stability of Michigan's individual insurance market," Hetzel said.

The lead author of Avalere Health's report, Bob Atlas, a senior vice president with Avalere, also examined Pennsylvania's negotiated arrangement with its Blue Cross Blue Shield plan to contribute back to the state in a variety of programs as a condition of its nonprofit status. Avalere's findings reveal that BCBSM contributes 38 percent above the Pennsylvania benchmark.
The examination covers several initiatives unique to BCBSM, including:

-- $15.5 million in costs incurred by participating in public programs,

primarily the MIChild program cover
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SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
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