ICYMI: Gov. Pritzker Of Illinois Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Community Connectors Program

posted by AHIP

on April 2, 2021

Earlier this week, Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced that Illinois will launch a Vaccine Community Connectors Program in the state to reduce COVID-19 vaccination disparities. The Vaccine Community Connectors program is being launched in collaboration with AHIP and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA).

Prioritizing equity has been a critical component in every phase of the state’s vaccine administration plan. In particular, we have intentionally set aside allocations of vaccine for providers in communities with a high social vulnerability index and have engaged with community partners to provide vaccinations in a way that is accessible by local communities,” said Governor JB Pritzker in the press release.  “Through this public-private partnership, the first of its kind in the nation, we will be able to better coordinate resources and provider more efficient vaccine access for our seniors.

Participating health plans, supported by AHIP, BCBSA, Illinois Association of Medicaid Health Plans (IAMHP), and Illinois Life and Health Insurance Council (ILHIC) will partner in the following ways:

  • Identify seniors who live in vulnerable communities who are members of participating plans who have not yet been vaccinated.
  • Work with the state and community partners to educate seniors on the safety, efficacy, and value of the vaccine.
  • Leverage health plan care coordinators to contact those individuals to facilitate appointment scheduling and answer questions.
  • Coordinate services to overcome barriers that may stand between those individuals and getting vaccinated, including transportation.
  • Work with state leaders to deliver vaccines to underserved communities.
  • Track and report on progress on a de-identified aggregate basis.

The State of Illinois, supported by vaccine providers, will partner in the following ways:

  • Reserve weekly appointment slots at mass vaccination sites for the plans to schedule vulnerable seniors.
  • Provide health plans with links into the state’s mass vaccination site scheduling systems to schedule members.
  • Provide weekly access to data / analytics to support plan outreach and identify target ZIP codes where seniors have not been vaccinated.
  • As available, respond to requests for state mobile teams.

Read the full press release.

Read more about the Vaccine Community Connectors pilot initiative.

See more health insurance provider actions concerning COVID-19 vaccines.

About AHIP

AHIP is the national association whose members provide coverage for health care and related services to hundreds of millions of Americans every day. Through these offerings, we improve and protect the health and financial security of consumers, families, businesses, communities and the nation. We are committed to market-based solutions and public-private partnerships that improve affordability, value, access, and well-being for consumers. Visit for more information.