Senate Panel Takes On Blue Cross Overhaul Plan

LANSING (AP) – A Senate panel is hearing testimony about legislation aimed at overhauling Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan.

The Senate Insurance Committee’s discussions Thursday continue talks that started Wednesday about proposals for ending the nonprofit health insurer’s tax-exempt status and aligning it with competitors.

The bills introduced Wednesday are based on recommendations from Republican Gov. Rick Snyder. He wants to “level the playing field” for insurers and modernize the charitable trust that serves 4.4 million Michigan residents.

Business groups largely support it, while competitors and advocates for the elderly urge caution and seek greater clarity in the legislation.

Blue Cross wouldn’t be sold or lose its nonprofit status. It would become an organization owned by its policyholders.

The plan requires approval by the Legislature and Blue Cross’ board of directors.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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