Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has clarified the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will continue to lead Michigan’s health insurers in implementing changes necessary to have a well-functioning health insurance market in place for Michigan consumers by October 1, 2013. That is when the health exchange is scheduled to be open for people to enroll in coverage.
“In many ways, Blue Cross serves as the model for the system created by the federal health reform law,” said Daniel J. Loepp, BCBSM president and CEO. “Our long history of guaranteeing high-quality, community-rated coverage to all who apply, regardless of medical condition, gives the Blues a deserved reputation as a place of strength and stability for health care consumers. Our history also gives us a responsibility to ensure that Michigan’s people, employers and health care providers are ready for the future. We will be redoubling our efforts to ensure that Michigan is informed and ready for a new health insurance marketplace with new rules and standards for coverage.”
Since the day the federal health reform law went into effect, BCBSM has implemented changes to its business operations and benefit designs to comply with new federal guidelines, prepare for doing business on the state’s health exchange and continue to improve business for stakeholders. BCBSM will continue working with state and federal policymakers, as well as the health care industry in Michigan, to prepare for a new marketplace.
“Blue Cross has been tireless in our efforts to ensure our business is ready for reform and our stakeholders are informed,” said Kirk Roy, BCBSM vice president for its Office of National Health Reform. “Michigan has some work to do to construct its exchange and build a consistent regulatory framework underneath it to serve consumers. Blue Cross has advised on those efforts and will continue to offer our expertise to policymakers as we work together to construct a system that serves Michigan consumers with a choice of high-quality, affordable health insurance products to meet their unique needs.”
BCBSM will take the following steps to promote affordable coverage:
- Serve as a trusted advisor to consumers and stakeholders who have questions.
- Modify and introduce innovative health plans that meet federal guidelines around essential benefits and actuarial value.
- Explore ways to make health plans more affordable so that those without insurance can purchase coverage.
- Help people without coverage understand the subsidies they may qualify for, how to use them on the exchange and how they may, in certain cases, be eligible for Medicaid under expanded federal income criteria.