In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

Nov 1, 2012

Credit User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Former state Attorney General sues Blue Cross

"Former state Attorney General Mike Cox says Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan illegally denies seniors access to certain plans. Cox filed a class action lawsuit Wednesday against the state’s largest health insurer. It claims Blue Cross denies access to its most popular Medigap plan to anyone with a retiree health savings account. Medigap is a program that covers healthcare costs that Medicare does not. Cox says the policy unfairly forces some customers to buy more expensive plans. Blue Cross officials say the lawsuit is baseless. They say they’re simply complying with state regulations," Jake Neher reports.

Beaumont and Henry Ford Health systems plan merger

Beaumont and Henry Ford Health systems announced plans Wednesday to merge into one non-profit health care system. It’s a blockbuster move that pairs two of southeast Michigan’s three largest health systems. The two healthcare providers have only signed a letter of intent thus far. But it’s clear that unless some major hiccup emerges, they’re moving full speed ahead toward a merger. It would become the region’s largest health care system: with ten hospitals, 200 patient sites, and nearly $6.5 billion in operations," Sarah Cwiek reports.

Great Lakes levels at record low

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says water levels on Lakes Michigan and Huron are nearly at record low levels because of drought and evaporation. Corps officials said Wednesday the level at the end of October is 1.5 inches above the historical average for the month. All the lakes are below their long-term averages for October and lower than they were a year ago. Heavy rain this month isn't enough to offset the decline," the AP reports.