Michigan Senate Panel Approves Blue Cross Bills

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- The Michigan Senate is poised to consider a proposed overhaul of Blue Cross Blue Shield 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. The measures 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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