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Blue Cross officials say overhaul must pass before end of the year

photo by Anna Strumillo Phuket - Thailand

Officials with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan say the state Legislature must pass bills to overhaul the health insurer by the end of the year. Under the measures, Blue Cross would become a customer-owned non-profit, and would have to pay state and local taxes.

The federal health care law would setup health exchanges in each state to help people shop for policies. Deadlines for states to set up those exchanges are coming up soon.

Mark Cook of Blue Cross testified Tuesday before the state House Insurance Committee. He said the bills need to pass soon for the state’s largest insurer to participate in the health care exchange.

“We’re actually, probably, past where we should be from an internal decision-making process on what those products have to look like, what the filings are going to have to… We have to file in March of next year. That’s not very far away,” said Cook.

The state Senate passed the BlueCross overhaul last month. Leaders in the House say they’re confident the bills will be completed by the end of the year.

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