Michigan Senate committee approves Blue Cross overhaul

Michigan Senate to vote on Blue Cross bills during Wednesday's session

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LANSING, Mich. - The state Senate is poised to consider a proposed overhaul of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan after legislation was approved by a committee.

The Senate Insurance Committee passed two related bills Tuesday and sent them to the full chamber for a scheduled vote on Wednesday. They received bipartisan support.

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 designed to continue Blue Cross' efforts to improve public health and health care access.

The legislation deals with some concerns raised by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and others about protecting senior health care coverage.

The Legislature and Blue Cross' board plan must approve the plan.

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