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'Blues' advocate for change to mutual insurance company


KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is supportive of an effort to convert to a mutual insurance company.

BCBSM Vice-President of Corporate Communications Andy Hetzel told WKZO legislation in the Senate recently which would make the conversion updates the laws which govern the organization.

"Blue Cross is going to pay taxes for the first time," Hetzel said, provided the legislation becomes law. "We're going to contribute, over 18 years, a billion-and-a-half dollars to a separate charity that's being set up by this legislation."

The organization would remain a non-profit, but the mutual designation would allow members to vote for BCBSM board of directors candidates.

It would not give members any financial stake in the organization.

Attorney General Bill Schuette told lawmakers Monday he isn't so sure it's good for seniors.  The Detroit News reports Schuette is concerned the change could allow the Blues to stop paying Medigap insurance and Medicare subsidies.

Hear the whole Hetzel interview from The Lori Moore Show by clicking here.