posted by AHIP
on August 16, 2021
A recent study showed that the COVID-19 vaccines have already saved nearly 280,000 lives and prevented 1.25 million hospitalizations in the United States alone. Yet today COVID-19 “hotspots” in the United States are developing in areas with lower rates of immunization.
Encouraging and enabling eligible people to get vaccinated is still one of our best defenses against the disease. That’s why health insurance providers are meeting patients where they are, hosting clinics, offering transportation, partnering with community organizations, and arranging home visits to reduce barriers and make it easier for people to get vaccinated.
The June results from the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor show that 65% of U.S. adults reported having received at least one dose of the vaccine. The vaccine is free for all vaccine-eligible people in the United States, ensuring that cost is not a barrier for patients. Cost, however, isn’t the only barrier for many.
The KFF report notes lower vaccination rates among Black and Hispanic adults, younger adults, and people with a high school degree or less. These populations are also among those hardest hit by the disease, due to underlying health and social factors.
“Throughout the pandemic, racial and geographic gaps in our nation’s health care system have shown disproportionate harm to many Black, Hispanic, rural and other underserved communities,” said Tonya Adams, senior vice president of customer experience and operations at Regence BlueCross BlueShield, and spokesperson for the Vaccine Community Connectors (VCC) program.
Through the VCC program, health insurance providers helped to vaccinate more than 2 million seniors against COVID-19 in under 100 days. This partnership between AHIP, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, and more than 50 health insurance providers was initiated to help seniors in socially vulnerable communities