As White House convenes summit, Michigan Blues are model for post-reform health insurance industry

All eyes will focus on a televised health care reform summit today in Washington, where President Barack Obama is convening key Democratic and Republican lawmakers in an effort to jump-start legislation that has stalled in Congress.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has long advocated for comprehensive reform and applauds efforts to refocus attention on this critical issue.

A lot has happened in the months since the U.S. House and Senate passed differing versions of reform legislation, and the focus in Washington has moved from health care reform to jobs and the economy. But the president has now proposed his own plan that he says borrows the best elements from the two bills and adds provisions favored by Republicans.

“What I will not do, what I don’t think makes sense and I don’t think the American people want to see, would be another year of partisan wrangling around these issues; another six months or eight months or nine months worth of hearings in every single committee in the House and the Senate in which there’s a lot of posturing,” Obama told reporters recently. “Let’s get the relevant parties together; let’s put the best ideas on the table.”

The Blues continue to support reform that expands coverage to everyone, reins in costs, and improves the quality and safety of medical care for all Americans.

We believe we’re leading the way here in Michigan through our numerous clinical and research partnerships with providers and programs like our Patient-Centered Medical Home network, the nation’s largest. In addition, our unique social mission as a nonprofit insurer of last resort means we never reject people who seek coverage because of pre-existing conditions. Nor do we raise peoples’ rates when they get sick. To that end, we believe reform that creates a level playing field, with consistent rules for all insurers, best serves the country.

Check out the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s five-point reform plan Pathway to Covering America.

You can also view the White House’s reform plan here.

Blues help you save some green: We’re committed to healthier people and a healthier Michigan economy

Have you ever heard of a health insurance company that saves you money on your gym membership or when you buy food?  Well, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network have introduced a new program that can do just that.
The new Healthy Blue Xtras SM savings program offers discounts on all kinds of healthy products and services from Michigan-based companies.
To unlock the savings, visit bcbsm.com/xtras and register for Member Secured Services. You’ll be able to view the latest offers, added monthly, and you can access tools and information designed to help you take control of your health.
Live outside of Michigan?

Even if you don’t live in Michigan, you can still score some big savings through our national savings program, Blue365®. Just visit bcbsm.com/xtras and log in to Member Secured Services and click on Blue365. You can also access special information that can help you live a healthier life.

Your health is your greatest asset

Good health lets you to live your life to the fullest. It also helps you keep your money in your own pocket.
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Tobacco and obesity-related complications, along with chronic diseases, are largely preventable. Over time, they can cause major health problems and add to what you pay for your health care.

The Michigan Blues recognize these issues and want to help lead all Michiganders to a healthier future.

One way we’re doing that is by offering Healthy Blue ChoicesSM, our innovative products and resources that focus on helping our members live healthier so they feel better and save money.

Our Healthy Blue Incentives PPOSM, and Healthy Blue LivingSM, an HMO plan from Blue Care Network, offer incentives to help everyone stay on track. Our wellness program, BlueHealthConnection®, includes a health assessment, online health coaching programs, a nurse hotline, targeted outreach and the latest health tips.

When it comes down to it, the bottom line for each product is essentially the same: By committing to better health, both you and your employer save money.