Exciting news in Michigan as Michigan’s largest insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, which serves 4.5 million people in Michigan and 1.6 million in other states announces direct reimbursement for Marriage and Family Therapists.
Starting June 1, 2018, family therapists will have the opportunity to participate as Blue Care Network providers. Participating LMFTs can receive direct reimbursement for covered behavioral health services.
This is a project that has taken a lot of people, a lot time, and a lot of hard work to accomplish and I’d like to explain how we were able to get here.
About four years ago the Michigan board met to discuss advancement for MFT in Michigan. With the influence and involvement of Tracy Todd, CEO of AAMFT, our board decided to advance marriage and family therapy by attaining reimbursement from our largest insurance provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield.
We then developed a strategic plan to accomplish this goal, discussed this plan as a board and then reached out to AAMFT staff, including Roger Smith and others in the government affairs team for input and accountability to accomplish this goal.
Following our strategic plan and meeting with AAMFT staff, we reached out to our lobbyist, Kevin McKinney, to schedule the meeting with BCBS. Our lobbyist did a fantastic job of scheduling a meeting where a dozen members of BCBS and three leaders of the Michigan Division of AAMFT came together. The conclusion of the meeting was a clear decision to begin direct reimbursement of BCBS for Michigan LMFTs.
Even though the decision had been made to begin reimbursement to LMFTs, work was still needed to bring the project to completion. With the influence of Carrie Krawiec, Executive Director of Michigan Division of AAMFT, we were able to track down who, of the dozen people at the meeting inside BCBS, was most responsible and involved in the project.
We were able to build a relationship with this individual and her team remaining in consistent communication with their team on the progress of the project.
With a lot of education on the internal workings of insurance companies including project launching, funding, and resource allocation, working through challenges and delays, we are grateful to announce the successful completion of our original goal in attaining direct reimbursement for marriage and family therapists will begin on June 1, 2018.