House approves legislation to overhaul Blue Cross - WNEM TV 5

House approves legislation to overhaul Blue Cross

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) -

The Republican-led Michigan House has followed the Senate in approving a proposal to end Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's tax-exempt status and transform it from a charitable trust to customer-owned nonprofit.

The legislation passed the Republican-controlled Senate in October.

Supporters say it modernizes the insurer and allows it to be taxed and regulated as its competitors.

Critics counter it short-shrifts the elderly and reduces oversight of a company controlling 70 percent of the market.

If Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signs the measure, Michigan would join 12 other Blue Cross Blue Shield companies nationwide structured as mutual insurers.

That means the organizations are owned by members.

Those companies operate in 14 states.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press.  All rights reserved.

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