Health firm’s growth impacts Detroit area

DETROIT (AP) — Changes in federal and state health care laws have created huge growth for Michigan’s largest Medicaid HMO.

Growth at Meridian Health Plan is also benefiting Detroit and Grosse Pointe Park because of developments financed by the family that runs Meridian, according to The Detroit News ( ).

“Health care is like the wild West right now,” Jon Cotton, chief operating officer of Meridian Health Plan, told the newspaper. “We will not see these opportunities for another 100 years.”

The business was founded in 1997 by his parents, David and Shery Cotton. Its revenue for 2011, the most recent year available, was $960.2 million.

The Grosse Pointe family is investing heavily in other areas of the community as a result of their success.

New in Grosse Pointe Park is an upscale Red Crown restaurant and a brew pub-biergarten. A bakery is soon to follow. Downtown Detroit will get a $111 million, 16-story office tower.

Meridian serves more than 300,000 Medicaid clients in five states. Its pool of potential customers grew by 450,000 in Michigan last month when Gov. Rick Snyder approved Medicaid expansion of Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act.

“By the time we open our new building, we will have over 1,000 workers,” Cotton said. Construction is expected to start next year on the building, which may open in 2017.

David and Shery Cotton, and their sons Jon, Sean and Michael see the boom as a chance to help the area.

“Me, my family, we are in position where we can give back to our communities,” Jon Cotton said. “We know that and because of the housing crash, and the other challenges, we want to be among the group of people who can make significant change.”

David and Shery Cotton founded Health Plan of Michigan, now Meridian, 16 years ago. The Cotton sons are Meridian executives.


Information from: The Detroit News,

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