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PNS Daily Newscast - November 27, 2020. 


A call on state congressional delegations to speed COVID-19 economic relief; a gap in trapping pollution impacts communities of color.


2020Talks - November 25, 2020 


CORRECTED 2:30pm MST 11/25 - Linda Thomas-Greenfield would be the second Black woman in US UN Ambassador role, Susan Rice was the first. Biden nominees speak; how can social media spread less misinformation and be less polarizing. *2020Talks will not be released 11/26 & 11/27*

AARP: Defeat Michigan Blue Cross Bill

Blue Cross Blue Shield restructuring could impact premiums for people over 50. Courtesy: AARP Michigan
Blue Cross Blue Shield restructuring could impact premiums for people over 50. Courtesy: AARP Michigan
December 3, 2012

LANSING, Mich. - When state lawmakers take up legislation that restructures Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan this week, older Michiganders may want to pay attention. AARP's analysis of the bills finds them raising Medicare supplemental insurance premiums by nearly $900 per year and cutting out rate protections from people over 50.

Lisa Dedden Cooper, manager of advocacy for AARP Michigan, says a lot of older Michiganders on fixed incomes are already stretched to their limit.

"The senior population is still reeling from Michigan's new pension tax, and the loss of their annual $2400 per year Senior Tax Exemption, and the increased property taxes due to changes in the Homestead Tax Exemption laws."

Blue Cross officials say they need the restructuring to keep the company competitive after the Affordable Care Act kicks in. But Dedden Cooper says there are no changes in the health care law that require protections for seniors to be stripped away.

For Michiganders over age 50 who have lost employee health coverage and need to buy it for themselves, Dedden Cooper says the proposed restructuring would allow Blue Cross to impose what is known as "age rating."

"With this legislation, the company could start charging older people more. We would see probably three times higher rates for older people than younger people."

A new report by the AMA rates Michigan's health insurance market as third-worst in the nation, with Blue Cross Blue Shield maintaining about a 70 percent market share.

Opponents say restructuring Blue Cross Blue shield would eliminate consumer protections and oversight and make it much more difficult for anyone over 50 to afford health coverage.

The bills are Senate bills 1293 and 1294.

More information is at house.mi.gov.

The AMA study referred to is at www.ama-assn.org.


Mary Anne Meyers, Public News Service - MI