DETROIT (WWJ) – “A landmark achievement.”

That’s how one Blue Cross Blue Shield executive describes word out of Lansing Tuesday that a bill overhauling Michigan’s longtime insurer of last resort is now on its way to the Governor.

“What this legislation is going to do is it’s going to provide consumers with more choices of plans from more companies than before at rates that should be competitively priced,” said BCBS Vice President, Andy Hetzel.

Thirty-three years ago the state of Michigan decided to create a safety net insurance company by designating Blue Cross the insurer of last resort Hetzel noted.

“From our competitors point of view the market was unbalanced because Blue Cross received significant tax-exemption for being the insurer of last resort,” said Hetzel. “So they wanted those exemptions eliminated which this new law will do, and the Blues get to set our rates the same as our competitors. So everyone is under one rating system, supervised by the insurance commissioner.”

Opponents of the move, including Republican Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, say the change could hurt seniors who rely on Medigap coverage.

Gov. Snyder is expected to approved the measure.


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