DETROIT, June 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- For the ninth consecutive year, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) will award up to one million dollars in grant funding as part of its Strengthening the Safety Net program, an ongoing effort the Blues have supported to help Michigan's most vulnerable populations get access to better health care. Applications are available now, and will be accepted through July 8, 2013.
"For nearly a decade, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has actively been working throughout the state to help free clinics continue their important mission of providing uninsured and underinsured Michigan residents with greater access to quality health care," said Lynda Rossi, BCBSM senior vice president of Public Affairs and Chief of Staff. "Access to quality care helps people get and stay healthy and better manage chronic conditions, in addition to keeping them out of the emergency room – all leading to reduced health care costs."
More than one million Michigan residents currently live without health insurance, with many relying on locally operated, nonprofit clinics for proper health care. BCBSM's Strengthening the Safety Net program gives federally qualified health clinics (FQHCs) the opportunity to apply for grants of up to $10,000 to support operations, with additional grant funding of up to $10,000 available to assist in expanding the availability of oral health care or patient advocacy services. Each clinic can apply for a maximum total of $20,000 in grants. The deadline for all grant applications is July 8, 2013.
BCBSM has provided nearly $8 million in grants to free clinics since 2005. As the national health care reform law changes how people purchase health insurance and receive health care services, many of Michigan's free clinics will continue to play a vital role in providing quality health care to uninsured residents across the state. An estimated six to nine percent of the population under age 65 is expected to remain uninsured once the Affordable Care Act is fully enacted.
In 2012, 50 clinics in 26 Michigan counties received a free clinic grant from BCBSM. For more information on the grant program and the application process, please visit www.bcbsm.com/safetynet.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.4 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com.
SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan