LANSING (AP) – The Michigan Senate has approved a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan overhaul that supporters say levels the playing field among health insurers and critics argue doesn’t adequately protect elderly and vulnerable residents.

The Senate passed the legislation Wednesday. The House is expected to consider it when the chamber returns after the November election.

READ MORE: Michigan Matters: Two Stars With Motor City Ties Lighting Up Entertainment World

The legislation would end Blue Cross’ tax-exempt status and change the health insurer from a charitable trust to a customer-owned nonprofit. It also would contribute about $1.5 billion over 18 years to a foundation continuing Blue Cross’ efforts to improve public health and care access.

READ MORE: 23rd Annual 'A Home For The Holidays At The Grove' Comes To CBS On Sunday, December 5th

AARP Michigan says it wants to work with lawmakers on issues including providing better protections against excessive rate increases.
Blue Cross is Michigan’s largest insurer.

(More on this story here).

MORE NEWS: MDHHS Updates COVID-19 Quarantine Guidance For Michigan Schools

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)