Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin is an endowment of the Medical College of Wisconsin committed to improving the health of Wisconsin residents. It encompasses three complimentary components:
In 1999 Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin submitted an application to the State of Wisconsin's Office of the Commissioner of Insurance to become a for profit stock corporation. Under the proposed conversion, Blue Cross/Blue Shield would transfer 100 percent of its value to a new public health foundation. This foundation would, over time, sell its shares in the converted Blue Cross/Blue Shield Corporation and split the proceeds equally between the University of Wisconsin Medical School and the Medical College of Wisconsin.
1. In March 2000, Insurance Commissioner Connie O'Connell approved the conversion proposal with several modifications meant to provide for public participation in, and accountability for, management of the conversion funds. Full details of the Application for Conversion of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of United of Wisconsin, and the Order of the Insurance Commissioner are available on the State of Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance web site.
2. Major modifications by the Insurance Commissioner to the Blue Cross/Blue Shield proposal included:
Establishing the Wisconsin United for Health Foundation, Inc. The Foundation's primary purpose is to realize the full value of Blue Cross/Blue Shield and to transfer the proceeds from the sale of the stock to the two medical schools. The Foundation will also review and approve revised five-year plans, submitted by the two medical schools, to ensure compliance with the Insurance Commissioner's Order.
Thirty-five percent of the funds generated by the proceeds of the conversion must be directed towards improving public health in Wisconsin. The schools may use the remaining funds, sixty-five percent, for medical research and health care provider education. Funds cannot be used to supplant resources otherwise available.
As required by the Insurance Commissioner's Order, the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) formed the MCW Consortium on Public and Community Health, Inc. and appointed eight members. The Insurance Commissioner appointed the ninth member to the MCW Consortium. In collaboration with the Medical College of Wisconsin, the Consortium will direct and approve the use of the public health funds. The MCW Consortium will also review, monitor and annually report to the Medical College of Wisconsin Board of Trustees on funds committed to medical research and health care provider education, as well as the funds committed to public health.
3. Expenditure of the funds by the Medical College of Wisconsin was enabled following the approval of the five-year plan by the Consortium, the Medical College of Wisconsin Board of Trustees and the Board of the Wisconsin United for Health Foundation, Inc., in accordance with the Insurance Commissioner's Order (for more information see Five-Year Plan). This approval process concluded in March 2004.
4. The full value of Blue Cross/Blue Shield conversion was realized through the sale of stock which occurred primarily in 2004. The proceeds of the conversion were made available to the Medical College of Wisconsin in March 2004 at an initial value of more than $300 million.
5. The Medical College of Wisconsin is now investing and managing the proceeds in an endowment fund. Income from the endowment fund will be available for distribution in accordance with the Insurance Commissioner's Order and the Five-Year Plan.