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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan providing grants for "safety net" clinics

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Posted at 5:48 AM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 06:48:45-04

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is making sure every community in the state has some form of free clinic for those who don't have health insurance or are underinsured.

As it stands right now, there are around 50 free clinics across the state thanks to the program called Strengthening the Safety Net.

Health care clinics have until the June 26th to apply for grants, ranging anywhere between $15-50,000, depending on the clinic's needs.

The money will help those who need treatment for COVID-19, mental illness, substance abuse, food insecurity among others.

"It's critical to our community based on the fact that we always have uninsured or underinsured population, especially given the pandemic that we are all facing, anywhere from 10 to 11% of those that are 18 to 64 years-old are really uninsured in today's world," explained Jeff Connolly, Senior Vice President and President of Blue Cross Blue Shield of West Michigan and Upper Peninsula. "They need a place to go. And, the benefit of these free clinics is, if they did not exist they would likely go to the emergency room where waits are longer and it's significantly higher costs."

BCBSM has given more than $15 million dollars in grants over the past 16 year.