We're Stronger Together
Our mission is to help make health care work better for all Vermonters. To fulfill that mission far into the future and respond to rapid changes in health care, we are launching a new way for Blues Plans to work together.
A blog by our CEO, Don George
For more than 40 years, our nonprofit health plan has had a simple, powerful mission: make health care work better for all Vermonters. To fulfill that mission far into the future and thoughtfully respond to rapid changes in health care, we plan to affiliate with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to best meet the needs of Vermonters.
The benefit of our affiliation arises from the ability we will have to share technology, new programs and services, and expertise. It also furthers opportunities to increase scale and promote access to affordable coverage for the people we serve. The Michigan plan is an industry leader in developing new technologies and innovative products that directly benefit members, and, like us, is a mission-driven nonprofit.
Our organization is powered by dedicated, passionate employees who believe in our shared commitment to make health care work better for our members. Our employees are critical to our success and will have an expanded suite of tools to support our members. The efficiencies will not come from reducing our workforce - we expect to maintain current employment levels and expand opportunities for talent.
Despite our differences in size, our two organizations share a vision for the future. Our member-first philosophies, compatible cultures, commitment to our employees, and appreciation for local values are the cornerstones of our partnership. Partnering will allow us to reduce administrative burden, facilitate the exchange of information to drive health care reform, and improve our members’ experience as they navigate the system of care.
While this affiliation has many clear benefits, there are very important things that won’t change. We will continue to be a Vermont organization, under the same name and located here in Berlin. Our local leaders and more than 400 employees will continue serving our neighbors. Members and customers will experience the same excellent health coverage, and our local relationships and extensive network of providers will remain in place. The grants and investments we make to support local organizations, charities, and our state’s public health initiatives will continue to be as strong as ever. Policy, governance, and operational decisions will be made locally, focused on the best interest of members and the community, all while keeping premiums, member reserves and health care decisions in our state.
This new model of collaboration is distinct within the Blue System. It reflects our belief that the best health care is delivered and administered locally. Pending approval of regulators, this affiliation of two single-state Blue Plans represents a historic new chapter and a pioneering approach to how nonprofit Blue Plans like ours can work together. Our collaboration will allow Vermonters to benefit from significant investments – we gain the resources of a large enterprise while continuing as your local health plan. I look forward to what this will bring our members and communities far into the future as we continue protecting and improving the health and well-being of all Vermonters.