Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is awarding up to $1 million in grants to safety net clinics across the state through its “Strengthening the Safety Net” program. The program, now in its 11th year, provides free or low-cost medical and dental treatment for uninsured, under-insured or newly insured Michigan residents. Eligible clinics can apply for grants through June 5.
“Partnership with these clinics is one way Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan fulfils our social mission to expand access to health care services, enhance the quality of care and address major health issues to create a healthier Michigan,” said Lynda Rossi, executive vice president at Blue Cross. “The Strengthening the Safety Net grants promote healthier workers, stronger families, engaged communities and overall cost savings for the health care system. Blue Cross is pleased to announce grant applications for this upcoming year, and we encourage safety net medical, dental, mental health, vision or specialty care clinics to apply.”
Eligible dental clinics may apply for up to $15,000 to support operations. Eligible medical clinics may apply for up to $10,000 to support operations alone, or up to $10,000 to support operations and up to an additional $10,000 to enhance their services, up to $20,000 total. Service enhancement awards require a $5,000 match. Grantees from prior years are eligible to apply, provided they meet all eligibility requirements.
Safety net clinics must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible:
- Be based in Michigan with a mission to serve low-income, uninsured and underinsured adults
- Be recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (C)(3) organization or be a community-based nonprofit organization paired with a 501 (C)(3) organization
- Provide medical, dental, vision, mental health or specialty care services directly or refer patients for such services
- Provide services at little or no cost to patients
- Work with volunteer administrators and clinicians
- Have a physician serving as medical director
- Be in operation for at least two years
- Be in good standing on all previous “Strengthening the Safety Net” grants, if applicable
According to Healthy People 2020, people with a regular source of health care have better health outcomes and fewer disparities and costs. As in the past, all grantees are expected to provide health and enrollment services and clinical quality assurance. Enrollment services may be offered on-site or by referral to a reliable partner who can support patients with enrollment or re-enrollment in the Healthy Michigan Plan and the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Clinics interested in applying for the “Strengthening the Safety Net” grants can join an informational conference call on May 19 at 2 p.m. or May 21 at 10 a.m. to get more details. To join, call 800-462-5837 and enter pass code 613530#. Those interested in applying can also email email@example.com or call 517-325-4651 for additional information. Grants will be announced by July 31.
Blue Cross has provided more than $10 million in grant funds since the “Strengthening the Safety Net” program was created in 2004.
For more information on the grant program and the application process, visit www.bcbsm.com/safetynet.