Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Could Be Privatized
Health insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan could be forced to convert from a non-profit insurer to a for-profit as state lawmakers plan to review the company's hold on the health insurance market, according to a Detroit News report.
The legislative review, which comes as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires states to create health insurance exchanges by 2014, will look at BCBS of Michigan's special legal and regulatory requirements that date back to 1980, according to the report. If BCBS of Michigan were privatized, the insurer would lose its last-resort status, and some industry experts think it will increase competition while lowering rates. Legislators said BCBS of Michigan will not need its last-resort status because all insurers will not be able to deny someone's insurance request when the health insurance exchanges begin.
BCBS of Michigan is against the conversion, saying its non-profit status allows it do more to improve the healthcare for Michigan residents instead of focusing on stockholders, the report said.
BCBS of Michigan controls roughly 70 percent of the state's health insurance market and receives roughly $79 million per year in state tax breaks, according to the report.
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