Learn more about health insurance providers actions on COVID-19 vaccines. We're are updating this page regularly.
Aetna is waiving member cost-sharing related to the COVID-19 vaccination for Commercial and Medicaid members. For Medicare, CMS has indicated it will cover the full cost of the vaccine for all Medicare beneficiaries, including those in a Medicare Advantage plan, in 2020 and 2021.
Seniors should schedule their COVID-19 booster shots as well as their flu vaccinations to avoid a possible ‘twindemic’ – in which both the flu and COVID-19 viruses simultaneously spreads and causes infections, according to a recent update from Alignment Healthcare. Seniors should also take advantage of the benefits offered by their health plans. Alignment, for example, offers free transportation to vaccination clinics.
Alignment Healthcare has released a special blog post on how seniors can continue to stay safe and healthy during the surge of the COVID-19 delta variant. The blog includes up-to-date information on COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots.
AmeriHealth Caritas has announced that it will collaborate with state, community, and provider partners to expand access to vaccine protection against COVID-19 for adolescent Medicaid members ages 12 and older with their parent’s or guardian’s consent. The aim is to help ensure this young population receives the second vaccine by Aug. 16, 2021, so they are able to return to school in September fully vaccinated. Since COVID-19 vaccines were made publicly available earlier this year, AmeriHealth Caritas has provided members and their households with timely information and education about the various vaccines. The company has also coordinated travel for members to the appropriate vaccine distribution points. This outreach has been conducted for members, including those who face language barriers and/or complex chronic conditions impacted by limited access to the social determinants of health (SDOH), such as transportation, safe housing, education, and economic stability. These communication tactics continue with targeted outreach to the households of AmeriHealth Caritas’ adolescent members in Delaware, Louisiana, Michigan, and South Carolina, as well as a special vaccination event in the Philadelphia area. These activities are designed to help adolescents within the Medicaid program get vaccinated.
AmeriHealth New Jersey and Rite Aid are collaborating to help AmeriHealth New Jersey members secure COVID-19 vaccine appointments. This includes proactive outreach by AmeriHealth New Jersey to vaccine-eligible members. AmeriHealth New Jersey is providing a direct link to the Rite Aid appointment scheduling site via email and text message to members who have opted in to receive digital communications. AmeriHealth New Jersey will assist members in scheduling appointments as opportunities become available based on vaccine supply. Members who are vaccine-eligible and want assistance making an appointment to get their COVID-19 vaccine are encouraged to fill out AmeriHealth New Jersey’s Vaccine Interest Form.
CDC Foundation and Anthem Foundation partnered to provide tools and resources for COVID-19 responses in at-risk communities around the country. A $250,000 grant was divided among 7 community-based organizations across the country, focused on ensuring important COVID-19 prevention and vaccination messages were received and acted upon. The grant also helped launch locally-focused programs to save and improve lives, focusing on Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
Anthem, along with JPMorgan Chase and community partner United Way, partnered with Lyft to provide 60 million rides to and from COVID-19 vaccination sites for low-income, uninsured, and at-risk communities. Additional program partners who signed onto the initiative included Epic, Centene Corporation, Modern Health, One Medical, National Hispanic Council on Aging, National Asian Pacific Center on Aging, National Urban League, and the National Action Network.
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield has joined with Hayat Pharmacy and Unite WI to turn a Milwaukee barber shop into a COVID-19 vaccination site. Gee’s Clippers will operate as a clinic every Saturday through April 17.
Anthem - National Government Services Inc., an independent subsidiary of Anthem Inc, has been awarded a contract from HHS to provide project management and project planning for the implementation of the Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program for participating HRSA-supported health centers and their clinical services delivery. The Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program, a partnership between HRSA and CDC, is intended to address health equity in vaccine delivery by providing a direct supply of COVID-19 vaccines to health centers who serve hard-to-reach and disproportionately affected populations.
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield held a COVID-19 vaccine clinic that was open to the public. The event offered first and second doses of the COVID vaccine, as well as booster shots for ages 5 and up.
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield has launched Vaccinate the Natural State, an initiative in collaboration with the Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, Arkansas Minority Health Commission, Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas, Northwest Arkansas Council, UAMS, and Walmart. The statewide initiative will educate Arkansans about the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine and encourage individuals to get the vaccine as soon as possible – by doing so they will be taking a critical step toward helping end the pandemic.
The campaign, which launches in mid-March, will have two primary focuses: business-to-business engagement and hyper-local community engagement. To support Arkansas’ business community, Arkansas Blue Cross is partnering with the Arkansas State Chamber and AFMC to provide objective information and educational resources, video modules, communication toolkits, and outreach to help guide businesses through the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Through this effort, business owners and leaders will be equipped to confidently lead their organizations as more COVID-19 vaccines are made available and be armed with the knowledge to guide their employees through the vaccination process and getting employees back to work.
The Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansashas awarded $214,100 to the UAMS FAITH Network and the Arkansas Medical, Dental and Pharmaceutical Association (AMDPA) to train and provide resources to faith-based organizations in Southeast Arkansas to help educate residents about the COVID-19 vaccinations. The Arkansas Department of Health’s Office of Faith-based Outreach will also offer support in these efforts. The purpose of this grassroots outreach and educational effort is to address vaccine hesitancy and encourage vaccination acceptance. The one-year grant will help pay for the cost of hiring community health workers, recruiting speakers, developing the curriculum and community education materials, scheduling speaking opportunities, and coordinating community engagement.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and Feeding America have announced a new partnership aimed at increasing equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine by providing trusted clinical information that highlights the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination. Through this partnership, BCBSA and Feeding America will lean into a network of 200 food banks—that reach more than 40 million people across the United States—to share clinical information and educational materials highlighting the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.
As part of the partnership, BCBSA will provide Feeding America and food banks nationally with English and Spanish educational materials, such as social media posts, posters, and question-and-answer documents that draw on information from trusted sources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and BCBSA clinical experts. The goal is to help dispel common myths about the vaccine that may prevent people from getting it. Local food banks will be able to leverage these materials on their own digital channels and at their brick and mortar food pantry locations.
BCBSA and Feeding America will also partner to create web-based public health modules and additional materials over the next twelve months, covering critical health topics such as COVID-19, vaccinations, and the importance of health equity to help enhance health education within the communities that Feeding America network food banks serve. These modules will build on Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies’ commitment to ensure the equitable rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and further promote vaccinations.
Blue Shield of California, the state of California’s third-party administrator, has successfully transitioned the state’s enhanced COVID-19 vaccine provider network that can administer 5.5 million doses a week to help save more lives.The dramatically increased capacity is the result of collaboration between state health officials, local health jurisdictions, and about 300 providers throughout the state who operate nearly 2,200 vaccination sites.
Blue Shield of California has launched “Get it,” a new advertising campaign to encourage all Californians to get vaccinated – and protected – from COVID-19. Blue Shield of California has produced television and radio commercials in English and Spanish, which started airing this week in media markets across the state, especially in communities most impacted by COVID-19.
Blue Shield of Californiais supporting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s strategy to efficiently and equitably administer vaccines to fight COVID-19. Blue Shield will work closely with Yolanda Richardson, secretary of the Government Operations Agency, who leads the state vaccine team, to help expand the efficient and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the state. Blue Shield’s role will be to maximize the speed at which vaccinations are made available across California with a focus on disparately affected communities. More details about the Blue Shield’s role on the program will be released in the coming days. Blue Shield of California has signed a contract with the state of California to be its Third Party Administrator to help optimize and accelerate the allocation and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines equitably, efficiently, and safely throughout the state. The nonprofit health plan is not charging the state for its staff time devoted to this effort. It will only bill the state actual expenses to support the vaccine network up to the limit of the contract.
Blue Cross of Idaho - Saint Alphonsus Health System is boosting its mobile vaccine outreach program thanks to a partnership with Blue Cross of Idaho. Idaho’s leading health insurer provided a $75,000 grant for Saint Alphonsus to purchase a Ford Transit Van and equip it for use as a mobile clinic to reach rural and underserved communities in SW Idaho and Eastern Oregon.
The nearly 20-foot-long van is being retrofitted by Wandervans of Boise, which will install custom storage, seating for eight passengers, and importantly – refrigeration to keep vaccines cold in transit and while conducting immunization clinics.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) will host a series of fresh farmers markets, vaccine clinics, and Community Care Fairs throughout the state to continue driving equitable access to health and wellness resources. BCBSIL is supporting members and residents by joining forces with community groups and hosting events to offer free resources ranging from vaccine clinics to fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh farmers markets and vaccine clinics will be hosted at BCBSIL’s Blue Door Neighborhood Centers and feature free produce giveaways and immunizations for the flu (ages 6 months and up), COVID-19 (ages 12 and up) and pneumonia (ages 65 and up).
More than 100 clinicians who work at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) have registered to volunteer with Illinois Helps, an emergency system for advance registration of volunteer health professionals. Once the state verifies their credentials and they identify a volunteer opportunity, BCBSIL pays for up to 80 hours spent volunteering to give COVID-19 vaccines. BCBSIL established the volunteer program as part of a broad array of efforts to help get as many Illinoisans as possible protected against the deadly disease. The employee volunteer program is the latest way BCBSIL is helping increase access to COVID-19 vaccines. Access Community Health Network is using two BCBSIL Blue Door Neighborhood Center locations in Chicago as vaccination sites. And earlier this year, the Chicago Department of Public Health worked with the Care Van Program to launch a mobile response team to immunize front-line essential workers against COVID-19.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City has created a series of video interviews with community leaders emphasizing the health benefits and importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 S.A.F.E. (Simple, Accessible, Free and Easy) Series features experienced moderators Cynthia Newsome of 41 Action News and Julee Jonez from KPRS Hot 103 Jamz, and panelists such as Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Famer Bobby Bell and Dr. Toni Zink from the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center.The series, released on The Blue KC Channel on YouTube and promoted through Blue KC social media platforms and shared via Blue KC Community Partner social networks, addresses COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the Black community and includes a discussion from trusted voices about their personal vaccine experience, myths, latest developments and how to get the vaccine.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is partnering with 100 Black Men in Baton Rouge and New Orleans to reach out and provide resources to minority communities. Their outreach aims to make everyone, especially those at a higher risk for COVID-19, feel safe, prepared and comfortable getting the vaccine as soon as they can.As part of both organizations’ commitment to health equity, they are working together to educate residents in Black and Hispanic communities about the vaccine. They will jointly advocate for fairness and greater access in how the vaccine is distributed. This can help increase overall vaccination rates.To educate Louisianians about the COVID-19 vaccines, Blue Cross and 100 Black Men are hosting virtual events. Representatives of both organizations will share vaccination facts and answer participants’ questions.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is sponsoring free Bluebikes rides to and from vaccination sites located within the Bluebikes system. A $1 million commitment toward transportation to and from vaccination sites in underserved communities across the state, in partnership with Lyft and the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. Residents are eligible for two complimentary Bluebikes Adventure Pass rides, available across the system's 10 municipalities: Arlington, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Newton, Revere, Somerville, and Watertown. Blue Cross is the title sponsor of Bluebikes, which is owned by the municipalities and operated by Lyft.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is joining Blue Cross companies across the country, along with AHIP members, in helping to vaccinate 2 million seniors living in the most vulnerable communities. As part of the Vaccine Community Connectors pilot initiative, Blue Cross and other participating health plans will focus on their respective members and the communities they serve, identifying members who are vulnerable to COVID-19 and who live in areas where vaccination rates are most inequitable. Blue Cross will use its member data and advanced analytics and rely on a number of methods to help identify the most vulnerable communities and members. Socioeconomic data will be paired with other information such as vaccination histories and the prevalence of chronic conditions to improve accuracy and efficiency in identifying those most at risk.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusettshas released a public service announcement promoting the COVID-19 vaccine. The 2-minute video features Dr. Katherine Dallow, vice president of clinical programs and strategy at Blue Cross, discussing the promise of COVID-19 vaccines. The video is free for use for any media, governmental, educational, or public health messaging effort.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts - announced a new effort with the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers to help provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccinations. Blue Cross will contribute $1 million to fund free rides to and from COVID-19 vaccination sites across the state to support community health centers, underserved communities, and vulnerable populations. Blue Cross' contribution will support tens of thousands of free rides to and from COVID-19 vaccination sites. The goal is to launch the program in the next few weeks in coordination with the League, which will assist in identifying participating community health centers.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will waive all copays, deductibles, and coinsurance for the administration of COVID-19 vaccines to commercial members.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Meijer Pharmacy have announced a regionally focused collaborative with services agencies to offer homebound individuals and people with disabilities COVID-19 vaccines. The effort will provide a local, convenient, and access-sensitive environment for people still facing barriers in receiving vaccinations.
Meijer Pharmacy is dedicating COVID-19 vaccine supply to individuals through walk-ins or by scheduling their vaccine in advance and ensuring a safe and accessible environment for persons with physical or behavioral disabilities. Disability agency partners will be communicating to their consumer networks, assisting with appointment scheduling and transportation as available. Blue Cross is leading coordination across the state, including outreach to Blue Cross, Blue Care Network, and Blue Cross Complete members still in need of a COVID-19 vaccination and providing financial support to agencies to mitigate related costs for the initiative.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network will pay for administration of the third booster dose of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine being recommended by the Biden Administration and CDC for vaccinated Americans, pending FDA authorization for the broader population. This decision includes Blue Cross and Blue Care Network fully-insured commercial plan members. Medicare is covering vaccine costs for BCBSM and BCN Medicare members. Blue Cross will encourage self-funded customers who administer their own benefits to also provide booster vaccinations at no cost to their employees.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota has joined the Vaccine Community Connectors pilot initiative, a national effort to help vaccinate 2 million at-risk seniors against COVID-19. In coordination with local providers, community groups and government agencies, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota has a number of initiatives underway across the state to ensure all members who are eligible for the vaccine have the right information, resources and opportunities needed to protect themselves against the coronavirus. Volunteering with NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, a vaccination site for people 65 years and older who live in the surrounding Minneapolis neighborhoods. Blue Cross associates are able to use Volunteer Paid Time Off to serve as greeters and navigators, helping seniors check in to their appointments and fill out forms. Additionally, Blue Cross volunteers are supporting staff at the Native American Community Clinic, which encourages and administers vaccinations for elders 65 and older, using culturally relevant strategies. The NACC offers a full range of services to address health disparities within the urban Native American community of the Twin Cities.
Planning for a major 100-day telephone outreach effort, with dedicated staff placing calls to at-risk seniors and providing information on nearby vaccine sites and inquiring about any possible barriers from getting immunized.
Partnering with North Memorial Health on a new COVID-19 vaccination site in Brooklyn Center, staffed by a team of Blue Cross nurses. Since opening last month, the clinic has been administering 450 to 650 vaccines a day to North Memorial Health customers.
Sponsoring transportation to and from vaccination appointments for senior patients at the Open Door Health Center in Mankato. Open Door Health Center is a federally qualified health center (FQHC) for people in need from Southern Minnesota. The Center provides comprehensive health care regardless of insurance coverage status or ability to pay.
The BlueCross BlueShield of Montana Care Van has helped provide access to 2,500 COVID-19 vaccinations at 95 clinics since the beginning of 2021. The Care Van vaccination efforts have been targeted to areas with limited access to the COVID-19 vaccine. This included low-income assisted living facilities, rural communities without a COVID-19 vaccine provider, individuals experiencing homelessness, and congregate care settings.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana is part of a vaccination coordination team that's working to make sure Montanans at the highest risk of life-threatening COVID-19 infections have access to the vaccines. The Caring Foundation of Montana and its Care Van® program, which is sponsored by BCBSMT, have been stopping by parking lots, campgrounds, and shelters to offer COVID-19 vaccines to people experiencing homelessness in the Helena area, as well as the region’s transient population.In Montana, nearly 1,600 people are experiencing homelessnessand at higher risk for COVID-19 infection. They tend to suffer chronic health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and HIV, which increase their risks of developing severe illness or dying from COVID-19.
A Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) program is encouraging employee medical clinicians to volunteer in providing COVID-19 vaccination. Through the program, BCBSMT pays each approved medical clinician for up to 80 hours of paid time for spent volunteering to give COVID-19 vaccines during their regular scheduled work hours.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico and Walgreens are working together to host no-cost flu and COVID-19 booster shot clinics for children and adults. Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine boosters will be available, and Walgreens will be administering the vaccines. No appointment for the vaccines is needed, and the public is welcome.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico’sCare Van® mobile health program has sought innovative partnerships during the COVID-19 crisis to provide COVID-19 vaccines where New Mexicans live and work. BCBSNM teamed up with independent health care providers and community organizations to hold vaccine clinics at McDonald’s in Rio Rancho and Española — two events at each location that provided both first and second vaccines. The events provided walk-in COVID-19 vaccines administered at no cost by Walgreens in BCBSNM’s Care Vans, which are mobile health clinics. Children ages 12 and older who got a vaccine also received a card for a free McDonald’s All-American Meal item. Attendees were also able to receive no-cost dental and vision screenings and information on local resources from community organizations, including the American Cancer Society, beWellnm, the Consulate of Mexico in Albuquerque, and many more.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico recently collaborated with a local McDonalds and Walgreens on a Community COVID-19 Vaccination Health Fair. Children over 12 years old who received a vaccine also received a card for a free McDonald’s All-American Meal item.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) is contributing $100,000 as part of its COVID-19 Community Collaborative Grant Fund to address the immediate needs of New Mexicans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Community Collaborative Grant Fund is releasing 10 rapid-response grants of $10,000 each to 501(c)(3) organizations focused on access to health care, behavioral health, housing and shelter, child and senior care, and COVID-19 health literacy and vaccine outreach. Grants include $10,000 to Casa de Salud (Justice, Access, Support and Solutions for Health) to provide COVID-19 vaccines, nursing support, education, and outreach in Albuquerque’s South Valley, as well as $10,000 to Rio Grande Community Development Corporation to provide virtual and in-person informational forums for the Spanish-speaking community about COVID-19 and vaccine options.
ONE Charlotte Health Alliance partners Atrium Health, Novant Health and Mecklenburg County Public Health are teaming up with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina to provide more vaccine access points to ensure vaccine equity in communities deeply impacted by COVID-19 in the Charlotte area.
As COVID-19 has disproportionately affected African American and Hispanic communities, ONE Charlotte Health Alliance partners have organized two mobile health units to further mobilize vaccine access in Public Health Priority Areas which have the highest health and quality of life disparities.
The two mobile units will have walk-up vaccine events in Charlotte’s Public Health Priority Areas, identified as six zip codes which include 28205, 28206, 28208, 28212, 28216 and 28217. No appointment or proof of identification will be required. Vaccine events will be held on weekdays and Saturdays to provide convenient access to FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines. Initial vaccine event locations include Renaissance West STEAM Academy, Renaissance Park and Grier Heights Park.
BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina - United Way of the Greater Triangle, in partnership with Lyft, has announced the launch of RIDE UNITED NC, a statewide campaign designed to remove transportation barriers for low-income North Carolina residents who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The campaign has a goal of providing access to 100,000 roundtrip rides across all 100 North Carolina counties and is currently accepting donations to support efforts.The launch of RIDE UNITED NC is made possible by initial investments totaling more than $400,000 from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Coastal Credit Union, and Duke Energy along with initial coordination support from North Carolina Department of Transportation. This program builds on the longstanding relationship between United Way and Lyft, and this extension is part of Lyft’s Vaccine Access Program, which is designed to provide support to individuals in need in select cities.
BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina will provide members with cost-free access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Since January 2021, the Oklahoma Caring Vans have provided more than 8,000 COVID-19 vaccines, in collaboration with the Tulsa Health Department and local organizations. The Caring Van program is the signature program of the Oklahoma Caring Foundation, and BlueCross BlueShield of Oklahoma has been the lead sponsor of the Foundation since 1994. The program operates mobile units that provide Oklahomans access to preventive health services. During the pandemic, the Caring Vans collaborated with state and local health departments to provide access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines to underserved communities. The Caring Vans focused on providing COVID-19 vaccines to underserved and vulnerable populations including the African American, Latino, and Burmese communities as well as serving homeless people and individuals with physical challenges.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee will cover the administration cost for a COVID-19 booster for those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, including those undergoing cancer treatment. For commercial Blue Network S, P and L members, BlueCross will cover the cost of the fees associated with receiving the COVID-19 booster. If a BlueCross member is charged for their vaccine visit, they can call the Member Services number on the back of their Member ID card for help. Medicare Advantage, BlueCare Tennessee and BlueCare Plus Tennessee members will also be able to get a booster without any out-of-pocket costs.
Blue Cross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation has selected two additional organizations for funding from its COVID-19 vaccine campaign RFP.The program, announced in January, provides funding to leverage local knowledge, expertise, resources and relationships to increase vaccinations within communities.The First Tennessee Development District is receiving $541,700 to support their “Take A Shot On Life” communications campaign, encouraging residents of Northeast Tennessee communities, including Bristol, Kingsport, Greeneville and Johnson City, to get vaccinated. The City of Memphis is receiving $533,940 to fund the “Your Best Shot” campaign, a project of the Memphis and Shelby County COVID-19 Joint Task Force, which will promote the vaccine in Shelby County with the goal of vaccinating 656,000 residents in the next six to eight months.
The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation awarded $610,560 in grants toward COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Chattanooga. The Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga received $401,664 to fund a communications campaign and vaccine support program for vulnerable populations including African-Americans, Latinx residents, older adults, and people with disabilities. Clinica Medicos, the first community site in Chattanooga to receive and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, was given $208,896 to expand services for underserved populations.
BlueCross BlueShield of Texas (BCBSTX) and the Texas Department of State Health Services are working together to more accurately determine which members are behind on immunizations for vaccine-preventable diseases, including COVID-19. The state agency, which collects immunization records for all Texans, provides BCBSTX monthly updates the insurer uses to identify and reach out to members in need of vaccinations. The effort began last year to boost vaccination rates for BCBSTX Medicaid members, but has expanded to include all plan members. It has helped increase BCBSTX vaccination rate tracking as much as 50%.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont - Over 20 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont employees have stepped forward to support the Vermont Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics.The Vermont Department of Health is requesting resources with two skill sets: clinical skills, such as licensed nurses, physicians, and EMTs, whose qualifications would allow them to administer the vaccinations; and people with administrative skills to help Vermonters navigate the check in process. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont will provide support for both clinical skills as well as administrative skills.
CalOptima is sponsoring COVID-19 vaccination clinics for children and the community, offering first, second, and booster shots to community members 5 and older. CalOptima will be on-site to check CalOptima Medi-Cal eligibility, distribute $25 Member Health Rewards to eligible members, and host a resource table. The clinics began in January and run through April.
CalOptima is fully committed to continuing to raise vaccination rates among its members, with more than 464,000 vaccinated so far, or about 58% of CalOptima’s eligible population. CalOptima’s Board has voted to continue offering $25 Member Health Reward gift cards for members who receive their shots through 2022. CalOptima will also offer two vaccine clinics in January to encourage vaccination among children.
CalOptima - has partnered with Orange County to host vaccine events at the CalOptima office in Orange. Additional events are scheduled for June 5 and June 12. Uniquely targeting the needs of CalOptima members, the events also include a Resource Fair offering other community services and health screenings. Eligible members who receive their vaccine at CalOptima clinics will be given a $25 gift card on the spot. Members vaccinated elsewhere receive their incentives in the mail, so the benefit of the CalOptima location is the immediate reward. Recipients of two-dose vaccines will receive two gift cards; single-dose vaccine recipients receive one gift card.
CalOptima is collaborating with the Orange County Health Care Agency to ensure that communications to key groups reinforce the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine for individuals and the community. CalOptima will engage community-based organizations to reach out low-income members so they have trusted information in multiple languages that builds their confidence and offers direction on obtaining COVID-19 vaccines at no cost.
The CalOptima Board of Directors has approved $45.6 million in funding and programs in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and start of vaccination efforts. The increased support will reach health networks, providers, and nursing homes, and offer incentives to members who receive the COVID-19 vaccine once it is available to them. Vaccine distribution will follow a federally approved phased approach that prioritizes high-risk groups first, followed by the general public later in the year. The actions include:
Launching a Vaccination Incentive Program to offer two $25 nonmonetary gift cards to CalOptima Medi-Cal members who get both required doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, subject to state regulatory approval. CalOptima plans a multipronged member outreach program to promote vaccination and will work with the Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) on the administration of the incentive program, which is approved to spend up to $35 million.
Creating a Vaccination Intervention and Member Incentive Strategy to promote vaccination of members experiencing homelessness. Medi-Cal members who are homeless and age 14 or older will be eligible for two $25 nonmonetary gift cards for receiving both required doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, subject to state regulatory approval. CalOptima will coordinate with community health centers, shelter operators and others to reach homeless members and promote vaccine access in the $400,000 program.
CalOptima members age 65 or older may receive the COVID-19 vaccine within the next few weeks through the COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Pilot Program, a joint effort between CalOptima and the Orange County Health Care Agency. The program is designed to improve direct access to vaccinations for CalOptima members who live in the hardest-hit communities by COVID-19.
CalOptima and Orange County hosted their final Vaccine Clinic and Resource Fair targeting low-income, hard-to-reach members on July 10 at the CalOptima office in Orange. At the event, 495 individuals were vaccinated, bringing the six-event total to 5,073 vaccines delivered from May 15–July 10. With vaccinations at the events and elsewhere, 53% of CalOptima’s membership age 12 and older is vaccinated, which equates to about 350,000 people. Additionally, the events’ Resource Fair component offered community services to meet CalOptima members’ needs. Strong response to the events was achieved through a combination of text messages, social media campaigns, messaging on the Othena and CalOptima websites, and interest in CalOptima’s Member Health Rewards. As of the final event, 2,339 health rewards, worth more than $58,000, were distributed. With approval of the health rewards program in January 2021, CalOptima was an early adopter of offering vaccine incentives, and many organizations — even California itself — have followed suit.
CalOptima and Orange County hosted their final Vaccine Clinic and Resource Fair targeting low-income, hard-to-reach members on July 10 at the CalOptima office in Orange. At the event, 495 individuals were vaccinated, bringing the 6-event total to 5,073 vaccines delivered from May 15–July 10. With vaccinations at the events and elsewhere, 53% of CalOptima’s membership age 12 and older is vaccinated, which equates to about 350,000 people. Additionally, the events’ Resource Fair component offered community services to meet CalOptima members’ needs. Strong response to the events was achieved through a combination of text messages, social media campaigns, messaging on the Othena and CalOptima websites, and interest in CalOptima’s Member Health Rewards. Members vaccinated at the events were given their health reward immediately. As of the final event, 2,339 health rewards, worth more than $58,000, were distributed. With approval of the health rewards program in January 2021, CalOptima was an early adopter of offering vaccine incentives, and many organizations — even California itself — have followed suit.
Cambia Health has been collaborating with a diverse set of stakeholders – both regionally and nationally – to expand access, remove barriers, and address hesitancy issues; supporting rapid deployment to the communities most in need; meeting people where they are; and delivering simple, age-sensitive and culturally relevant resources. To date, through philanthropic commitments of more than $1.3 million, the Cambia Health Foundation and regional health plans estimate that 504,466 shots in arms have been made possible through partnerships with 114 different community-based organizations, through on-site clinics, pop-up clinics, mobile clinics, and transportation to on-site clinics.
Cambia Health Foundation is making philanthropic investments of $775,000 to facilitate equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to people of color, homebound seniors, and others who may otherwise face barriers or inequities. With this funding, the Foundation will support both national and regional initiatives that build trust in the vaccine through delivering simple, age-sensitive, and culturally relevant resources. Funding also supports the rapid deployment of the vaccine directly to people who cannot access mass vaccination sites.
Capital BlueCross and Rite Aid are working together to provide COVID-19 vaccines through community-based clinics that enlist the help of local pharmacists, a model that reflects a newly announced federal strategy for vaccine distribution.The clinics, which first began in February and will continue through June, will help thousands of Pennsylvanians across Central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley receive their COVID-19 vaccines.The clinics are providing vaccines to anyone who meets Pennsylvania’s current eligibility guidelines and schedules an appointment ahead of time, regardless of whether they are Capital BlueCross members.
Capital District Physicians Health Plan is partnering with Price Chopper/Market 32 to find and provide COVID-19 vaccinations for area seniors or other individuals who may not be able to register for the vaccine or get to the vaccination site.The process includes using CDPHP’s membership list to contact seniors or disable persons and see if they’ve been vaccinated. If they haven’t, a vaccination appointment can be made and transportation provided to get them to the Price Chopper/Market 32 store for the vaccine.
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has announced an additional $2.2 million in grants supporting COVID-19 relief, recovery, and equitable vaccination efforts for communities in the region. Overall, the company has contributed $8 million since 2020 to organizations on the front lines of the pandemic. The investments support nonprofits addressing communities’ health, social and economic needs and creating equitable COVID-19 support for people and neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Areas of focus for funding include efforts to address vaccination education and distribution, expand access to behavioral healthcare services, increase access to education, skills and training to minimize learning loss for school aged children, and support workforce development by providing job training. Special consideration was given to Black, youth, Veteran, and women-led organizations. To date, CareFirst’s contributions in pandemic relief grants have benefitted approximately 700,000 individuals across the Mid-Atlantic region through 150 organizations.
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is making $200,000 in contributions to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in the District of Columbia. The grants will support work administering COVID-19 vaccines for individuals, families, and communities throughout the city. This philanthropic contribution is part of CareFirst’s “Better Together” COVID-19 vaccination adoption campaign to help educate and encourage people about the importance of everyone getting vaccinated against the coronavirus.The grants build on CareFirst’s previous efforts to help communities break free from the unrelenting grip of the pandemic. All eight D.C. FQHCs will receive COVID-19 relief funding to help with staffing of vaccine administration, personal protective equipment, refrigeration units for vaccine storage, and other unanticipated vaccination demands that may arise. Investments will be distributed to Unity Health Care, Mary’s Center, Community of Hope, Bread for the City, Elaine Ellis, La Clínica del Pueblo, Family and Medical Counseling Services, and Whitman Walker.
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has launched a wide-ranging campaign to help educate and encourage people living throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia about the importance of everyone taking the COVID-19 vaccine when they are eligible. The effort will urge people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 when they can and support public health officials’ work to achieve target vaccination rates that will end the pandemic. The company has unveiled a new ad to carry this message to people living in the region. “The Deal” is a public health ad with a serious tone and a simple message. A series of individuals are featured throughout asking viewers to join in a deal – take the COVID-19 vaccine when they can, “for you, for me and everyone you love.” The ad closes by noting, “this is our shot to leave COVID behind.”
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield will fully cover all member costs associated with all FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines, including for members in self-insured plans. CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has launched a wide-ranging campaign to help educate and encourage people living throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia about the importance of everyone taking the COVID-19 vaccine when they are eligible. The effort will urge people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 when they can and support public health officials’ work to achieve target vaccination rates that will end the pandemic. Over the next several months, CareFirst will expand its ongoing collaboration with public health officials and community leaders to support coordinated vaccine communications and distribution processes. These efforts will include online forums and educational opportunities with medical experts and influential community spokespeople targeting populations and locations most in need and the customers we serve.
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield will make COVID-19 vaccinations a requirement for its workforce, Boards of Directors, and guests. The requirement aligns with the organization's ongoing initiatives urging the CareFirst workforce and broader community to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to achieve target vaccination rates that will end the pandemic.
CareSource participated in a 5-state program (Ohio, Georgia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana) to boost vaccine rates using mPulse Mobile's COVID Activate technology Overall, 664,000 members participated in the program. CareSource excluded members who had previously reported receiving at least one dose of the vaccine.
The program’s goal included increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates (both first and second doses), building confidence related to the vaccines, and addressing any health equity concerns. CareSource was able to influence a large number of members who were unsure about the vaccine when the program began. 07,000 members began the program classified as Unsure, and 57,000 were moved to the Ready category by the end of the program based on their engagement and responses.
CareSource is teaming up with CSS Health to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates for Medicaid members across Ohio to ensure all CareSource members have access to local pharmacist-administered COVID-19 vaccinations.
Working together, CareSource and CSS Health will provide a seamless platform for the pharmacist-health plan connection. Helping provide patient accessibility to local pharmacists has provided a rapid increase in COVID-19 vaccination rates nationwide. CareSource and CSS Health will focus this effort on supporting and connecting with independent pharmacists across Ohio.
CareSource has enhanced benefits offered to COVID-19 vaccinated members in the state of Indiana. Starting today, CareSource is offering $20 for Medicaid members once they achieve full vaccination for COVID-19 in the form of a single-dose vaccine or the second dose of the two-dose vaccine. This enhanced benefit has been added to encourage complete vaccinations, curb the recent decline in Indiana’s vaccination rates, and ultimately contribute to the goal of herd immunity across the state.
The member reward is only the latest CareSource endeavor in their partnership with the state of Indiana to promote COVID-19 vaccination. CareSource has taken steps to educate members by contacting them directly once members are eligible to receive the vaccine and providing information on how to make an appointment. CareSource also offers members transportation to receive the vaccine if needed.
Centene has launched a new initiative to encourage Centene health plan members, as well as all Americans, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Centene will begin working with network physicians to deploy a call campaign to its health plan members nationwide. The call will ask recipients whether they have been vaccinated, and will help those who have not to arrange an appointment. The top 100 providers with the highest increase in vaccination rates as a result of this initiative will each receive a $5,000 grant for medical equipment.
In addition, Centene will be launching a new public service announcement (PSA) focused on the importance of getting vaccinated for the benefit of an individual's family and other loved ones. The PSA will remind people to get vaccinated for their loved ones: their grandparents, their parents, and their friends, all whom they would rather visit, than go to a visitation.
Centene Corporation and several members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame family are partnering to increase education and awareness around COVID-19 vaccines through a series of new 15-, 30- and 60-second public service announcements (PSAs), with a particular focus on communities of color. The PSAs will air nationally on television networks and over digital platforms.Delivering the message that COVID-19 vaccines protect not only the recipient but also their friends and families will be Hall of Famers ANTHONY MUÑOZ (in both English and Spanish), DARRELL GREEN, AENEAS WILLIAMS and DREW PEARSON; along with LISA SALTERS, a Hall of Fame Selector and TV broadcaster; and friends of the Hall DAWN STALEY, a three-time Olympic gold medal winner and coach of the 2017 national champion University of South Carolina women's basketball team; and IMAN MCFARLAND, Chief Operating Officer for 21st Century Expo Group and an ambassador for the Hall's and Centene's joint "Strong Youth Strong Communities" programming.
Centene’s Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, and Marketplace members can access COVID-19 vaccines at no cost as they become available to them in accordance with state and federal (CMS) requirements and timelines.
Centene has reiterated its commitment to improving vaccination rates among its members. The company plans to continue its leadership in this effort through additional comprehensive education and outreach programs, with a specific emphasis on the most vulnerable populations. To address the spread of the Delta variant, the company will continue to expand key outreach programs it has supported throughout the pandemic. These initiatives are specifically focused on promoting awareness of COVID-19 vaccinations to encourage members, employees, and under-resourced communities to receive the vaccine. These efforts include:
- National Outreach Campaign – Centene is implementing a nationwide member outreach campaign, asking members to update their current vaccination status while providing them with aid in accessing and scheduling vaccines. These efforts include the call campaign and public service announcement (PSA) initiative announced on June 8, 2021, which has reached more than 10 million members.
- Education Campaign with the Pro Football Hall of Fame – In March of 2021, Centene formed a partnership with the Pro Football Hall of Fame to increase education around vaccination benefits through developing and promoting a series of PSAs, and hosting events around the country with Hall of Famers. The PSAs, airing on 160 national television networks and digital platforms, specifically focused on outreach to communities of color.
- Clinical Outreach Program – Centene designed and implemented a clinical outreach program to address member needs leveraging a machine-learning algorithm to identify individuals facing critical social determinants of health challenges. The algorithm then used geospatial data to consider proximity to vaccination centers and known medical risks such as chronic conditions.
- Hispanic Family Equity Fund – In May of 2021, Centene, through its foundation, the Centene Charitable Foundation, pledged to match the first $1 million in corporate donations to the Hispanic Family Equity Fund. The fund, launched by the Healthy Americas Foundation (HAF), the supporting organization of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, aims to support Hispanic families in the post-pandemic recovery.
- Partnership with the Lyft Vaccine Alliance – Centene joined the Lyft Vaccine Alliance, which is offering 60 million rides to and from vaccination sites for low-income, uninsured, and at-risk communities.
- Academic Research Studying Basis for Vaccine Decision-Making – Through the Centene Center for Health Transformation, a research partnership with the Brown School at Washington University and Duke University Center for Advanced Hindsight, Centene is studying the basis for decision-making on vaccines to refine its messaging to members.
- Leveraging Community Partnerships for Local Outreach – Centene and its local health plans are leveraging community partnerships such as the National Urban League and local affiliates and the Office of Tribal Relations to develop tailored, culturally sensitive campaigns and educational materials for members.
- Supporting Employees – As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, keeping Centene employees safe remains a top priority. Following the national availability of COVID-19 vaccines, Centene established a conservative, hybrid return to in-person engagement approach for the fall of 2021. Additionally, in response to the ongoing pandemic Centene:
- Waived all prior authorizations and employee cost sharing for COVID-19 related screening, testing, treatment and vaccination.
- Provided up to 10 additional working days of paid leave to support employees receiving the vaccination, or those employees caring for a family or household member affected by COVID-19.
- Offered employees with up to a $1,000 discount to their health insurance premiums for conducting a number of healthy behaviors that included the COVID-19 vaccination. Provided a one-time payment of $750 to employees who performed critical services in Centene offices in 2020.
- Established a Medical Reserve Leave policy to support clinical staff who wanted to join a medical reserve force and serve their communities, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy supports clinical staff by providing paid leave and benefits for up to three months of volunteer service.
Cigna is providing transportation to and from vaccine sites at no extra cost to customers in the majority of its Cigna Medicare Advantage plans across the country. Over 500,000 customers in 23 states are eligible for four one-way trips, up to 60 miles each way, to get their vaccine. The program allows for 4 trips since some vaccines require 2 doses. Transportation for 1 adult companion is also included to accommodate caregivers. Cigna is working with its Medicare Advantage transportation vendor, Access2Care, which coordinates transportation for customers. Participating transportation companies will vary by location. Cigna MA customers completed more than 400,000 trips through the program in 2020, primarily to doctors and pharmacies. Customers who qualify for the vaccine in their state can arrange for the round trip during an initial call.
Cigna is covering the cost of approved vaccines without any cost-share. The vaccine is currently purchased by the federal government and provided free of cost to individuals. Cigna covers the cost of administering the vaccine at 100% without any out-of-pocket costs when done by any in-network or out-of-network provider.
Cigna is introducing a broad range of new initiatives to encourage and expand access to COVID-19 vaccinations. These incentives include offering paid time off to receive the vaccination, an incentive award for employees who are fully vaccinated and transportation to vaccine appointments at no cost for most Medicare Advantage customers.
For employees, Cigna is offering:
Incentives for those who are fully vaccinated: Cigna employees in the United States who are enrolled in the Cigna Medical Plan are eligible to receive a $200 incentive award for being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A study shows that similar health incentive programs improve health outcomes and lower total medical costs an average of 10 percent. Employees can self-report that they have received the vaccine, and the award will be deposited into their Health Savings Account (HSA) or Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA). While rewarding vaccinations, the company is not requiring vaccinations.
Extended deadline to use paid time off through 2021: Cigna has extended the deadline for benefits-eligible employees to use up to 10 days of paid "emergency time off" (ETO) for COVID-19-related reasons, including to receive the vaccine or recover from it if needed, dependent care or taking a mental health day. The time off, originally provided to employees in 2020, now can be used through the end of 2021. To date, over 875,500 ETO hours (nearly 110,000 days) have been used by over 25,300 employees. This time is in addition to regular paid time off (PTO) for benefits-eligible employees.
In the communities it serves, Cigna is providing:
Direct outreach to vulnerable seniors to encourage vaccination: Cigna is conducting direct outreach to customers most at-risk for COVID-19 in key communities to provide them with resources about how to get vaccinated and help them make appointments. This effort is part of the Vaccine Community Connectors pilot initiative that aims to enable the vaccination of two million seniors age 65+ in vulnerable and underserved communities.
Cigna is also providing vaccinations on-site for clients that have Employer Worksite Health Centers, as vaccine supply allows. To learn more about Cigna's full efforts to support customers, clients, communities and employees throughout the pandemic, please visit Cigna's COVID-19 Resource Center.
Commonwealth Care Alliance is partnering with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to lead the state’s effort to vaccinate homebound individuals. CCA was the first integrated plan in Massachusetts to vaccinate its own homebound health plan members beginning in mid-February and has delivered vaccines to nearly 500 homebound individuals. CCA will now expand that program to all homebound individuals in Massachusetts, regardless of health plan.
Eligible homebound residents will be identified and screened by the state with support from local partners like Boards of Health. Individuals or family members can also call the state’s 211 line to answer screening questions and register as a homebound resident for vaccination. The state will then refer eligible residents to CCA.
The State will distribute vaccines weekly to geographic vaccination hubs that CCA will run. Contracted or volunteer vaccinators (EMS, home health agencies, students, or local boards of health) will come to these hubs at scheduled times. They will be provided with “go bags” that include appropriate PPE, a list of appointments, and the necessary number of vaccines. The vaccinators will then provide eligible individuals with a vaccine in their home and return to the hub.
Select CVS Pharmacy locations will be offering a two-dose primary series of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 pediatric vaccine to children ages 5 to 11 years of age, upon receipt and confirmation of vaccine supply.
The Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine is one-third of the adult dose and will be available at nearly 1,700 CVS Pharmacy locations in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. CVS Health has administered approximately 43 million COVID-19 vaccines to date and has been administering the COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 12 years and older since authorized by the FDA and recommended for that age group by the CDC earlier this year.
CVS Health has announced that, following authorization from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) based on guidance from the organization's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), select CVS Pharmacy locations are now offering the Moderna COVID-19 booster shot to eligible populations beginning Friday, October 22, in addition to the previously authorized Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster.
CVS Health announced that, following approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) based on guidance from the organization's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), select CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations began offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster shot to eligible populations as of September 24.
CVS Health today announced that beginning June 1, eligible customers who received or plan to receive a COVID-19 vaccination through CVS Health may choose to enter the #OneStepCloser sweepstakes for an opportunity to win one of over a thousand fun and exciting prizes through weekly drawings and grand prizes over a 6-week period.
Among the partners and prizes planned to date:
- CVS Health:(125) $500 giveaways and (5) Grand Prize giveaways of $5,000 for family reunions
- Norwegian Cruise Line: (100) 7-day cruises for two in a balcony stateroom to your choice of destination including the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe and more
- Procter & Gamble: VIP trip to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles for two people including Super Bowl game tickets, airfare, hotel, and more
- Unilever: (250) Night Out coupon booklets to use towards free Unilever products e.g. Dove, TRESemmé, Suave, Degree, Schmidt’s, St. Ives and more. Grand Prize of a 2022 NCAA Final Four package for two.
- Bermuda Tourism Authority:(5) three nights/four-day trips for two including airfare, deluxe hotel accommodations, roundtrip transportation, and more
- Hinge: (500) $100 gift cards for dates and (1) Grand Prize of a $5,000 gift card for an ultimate date experience for a winning couple
- iHeartMedia: VIP package for two to attend iHeartRadio Music Festival including first-class airfare, hotel, floor seats, backstage experiences with artists and other amazing surprises
- smarTours: (6) fully escorted tours for two to one of many international destinations, including airfare, (1) of which is a Grand Prize
- Wyndham Rewards®:(5) two-night weekend getaways with a Platinum membership upgrade and a Grand Prize seven-night getaway including airfare voucher and a Diamond membership upgrade, redeemable at thousands of hotels, vacation club resorts and vacation rentals around the globe
CVS Healthhas recently begun administering COVID-19 vaccines at employer-based vaccination clinics through Return Ready, helping to increase access to vaccinations for employees following expanded eligibility to all adults in the United States and an increasing vaccine supply. CVS Health is managing employer vaccination clinics for 18 employers across 51 locations, which began with Delta Air Lines in February 2021. The New York Shipping Association worked with Return Ready to operate vaccination clinics that included the International Longshoremen's Association and its members, and the City of Philadelphia is also working with Return Ready on vaccination clinics for all city employees.Return Ready, first introduced as a customizable COVID-19 testing solution in June 2020, now includes COVID-19 vaccination options in addition to clinical protocols, digital scheduling tools and detailed reporting to meet the unique worksite needs of employers. As part of the vaccination offering, CVS Health is responsible for administering vaccinations at onsite clinics with trained health care staff who can also answer patient questions about the vaccine and direct them to appropriate resources.
CVS Health has surpassed 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered through its participation in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program and Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. The company is now administering vaccines in nearly 2,000 stores across 44 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., with the pace of vaccinations expected to rapidly accelerate as more supply becomes available. CVS Pharmacy has the capacity to administer up to 25 million shots per month.
CVS Health has nearly doubled the number of states where select CVS Pharmacy locations are offering COVID-19 vaccines to eligible populations through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. The company is now administering vaccines in nearly 1,200 stores across 29 states and Puerto Rico.
CVS Health will administer COVID-19 vaccinations to the public when authorized and available. CVS Health already announced it would provide COVID-19 vaccinations to long-term care facilities when the vaccine becomes available. CVS Health has formally launched its COVID-19 vaccination program for long-term care facilities, whose residents have been disproportionality impacted by the pandemic. CVS Pharmacy teams will administer the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in facilities across 12 states this week, and the company expects to vaccinate up to four million residents and staff at over 40,000 long-term care facilities through the program. CVS Pharmacy teams will make three visits to each long-term care facility to ensure residents and staff receive their initial shot and critical booster. The majority of residents and staff will be fully vaccinated three to four weeks after the first visit, depending on which vaccine they receive.
CVS Health expects to complete its long-term care facility vaccination effort in approximately 12 weeks. CVS Health will administer COVID-19 vaccinations starting this week in the following states: Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Vermont. Vaccinations will begin in 36 more states, as well as the District of Columbia, on December 28. Puerto Rico will activate on January 4.
CVS Health has administered the first round of COVID-19 vaccine doses to nearly 8,000 skilled nursing facilities across the country, delivering on goals established early in the process and communicated to participating states and jurisdictions months ago. Administration of second doses is well underway and expected to be complete within four weeks. CVS Health will begin to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible populations at a limited number of CVS Pharmacy locations across 11 states, beginning February 11. Supply for the initial rollout, which is sourced directly from the federal government through the pharmacy partnership program, will be approximately 250,000 total doses. As more supply becomes available the company will expand to additional states while increasing the number of stores offering vaccinations. CVS Health announced its community-based strategy to address potential inequities related to COVID-19 vaccine access in vulnerable communities, with a particular focus on Black and Hispanic populations.
In communities where COVID-19 vaccines are currently available at CVS Pharmacy locations, the company is working to help ensure Black and Hispanic patients have equitable access to appointments. CVS Health will reach out to CVS Pharmacy patients, Aetna members, and CVS Caremark members in vulnerable communities to help them make an appointment and to answer questions or concerns they may have about being vaccinated. To further increase access to vaccines, the company is planning to use mobile vaccination vans and launch community-based clinics in March and April, working closely with nonprofit organizations including the YMCA. Lyft will also work with CVS Health and non-profit partners to help underserved communities access vaccination appointments by providing free or discounted rides for those in need.
CVS Health will require certain employees who interact with patients to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by October 31, 2021. The company will also require all corporate staff to be fully vaccinated no later than October 31. New hires in the same roles as of September 15 must have received their first COVID-19 vaccine prior to their first day of employment. Patient-facing roles that will require proof of vaccination include nurses, care managers and pharmacists. Pharmacists working in the company’s retail stores will have until November 30 to be fully vaccinated due to the size of this employee population. Other roles at CVS Health are under review and may be added based on updated data and public health guidance.
EmblemHealth’s Advantage Care Physicians of New York has established partnerships with New York City and the state to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in 12 of its practice sites across New York City, most of which serve predominantly low-income neighborhoods. This began in early January, building off previous partnerships with the city and state to perform COVID-19 tests, and to date has administered tens of thousands of vaccines to local residents (not just EmblemHealth enrollees).EmblemHealth has also held dedicated events cosponsored with the United Federation of Teachers using ACPNY professionals to administer hundreds of vaccines to local educators.
Empire BlueCross BlueShield is working with New York City to vaccinate seniors in their homes. Empire forwarded the names of 650 homebound members when the New York City Public Health Department launched efforts to vaccinate the homebound, and also led efforts to get vaccination appointments for long-term care members.
Empire BlueCross BlueShield will cover the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine. Empire members won’t have out-of-pocket costs for the vaccine during the national public health emergency. This applies to all members, regardless of the type of health plan they have, or which doctor or healthcare professional they choose to visit for COVID-19 vaccinations.
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield will provide the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to members, and members may access the vaccine from any service provider that offers it, regardless of whether the provider is in the Excellus network.
Fidelis Care and Northwell Health are part of New York State's Long Island Regional Health Equity Task Force, which works to ensure the safe and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Fidelis Care provides hot meals for staff working at the vaccination sites and provides information about health insurance coverage.
Florida Blue has teamed up with Lyft and other transportation companies to offer its members access to rides to and from vaccination appointments as part of its services to support vaccination events across the state.The transportation services are available to members with Medicare Advantage, individual and family health plans, such as Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans, and fully insured employer-provided plans. The state’s largest insurer has teamed up with Lyft to provide access to rides for people with individual, family and employer health plans, offering ride credits of up to $25 each way, and transportation companies Kaizen Health and ModivCare (formerly LogistiCare) for its Medicare Advantage members.
Florida Blue Medicare has joined the Vaccine Community Connectors pilot initiative, a national effort to help vaccinate 2 million at-risk seniors against COVID-19. Florida Blue Medicare is using its enrollee data and analytics in addition to a number of methods – including government resources such as the Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) – to help identify the 25% most vulnerable communities. Florida Blue is also joining other BCBSA companies in a Rally for Recovery Commitment, which aims to protect employees by encouraging COVID-19 vaccinations, while also educate employees and local communities on ways to mitigate the spread of the virus. The pledge was launched by the federal government and business leaders to encourage companies to take action to defeat the coronavirus. Florida Blue is waiving all copays, deductibles, and coinsurance for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine for members. The vaccine will be available at $0 cost share to members with employer health plans, individual plans, and Medicare Advantage plans.
Florida Blue consumers who buy insurance on their own or get it through their job may receive a $10 reward through Better You Strides for getting the COVID-19 vaccine this year.
The $10 reward is applied to monthly premiums for members who buy insurance on their own, while those who get insurance through their job will receive the reward on a prepaid MasterCard.
Better You Strides is Florida Blue’s online health and wellness program that gives everyone on a plan who’s 18 and older an opportunity to earn rewards for completing a variety of health and wellness activities.
Gateway Health has implemented a multi-phase COVID-19 vaccination strategy designed to educate members about the vaccines, promote vaccinations, facilitate transportation, and address potential disparities through equitable access.
Gateway first developed both incoming messaging and member outreach campaigns, shortly after the FDA emergency use authorization of the first vaccine. For incoming member calls, Gateway implemented COVID-19 specific on-hold messaging offering to connect members for assistance with locating vaccination appointments. To facilitate member outreach, Gateway used claims data to identify eligible members and then targeted their outreach to high-risk, unvaccinated individuals. The plan’s analytics team stratified their member population based on age, race/ethnicity, comorbidities, and social determinants of health data. This information was then used to create a member outreach list for over 350,000 automated outbound calls and individualized calls from the plan’s care management and pharmacy teams. As part of our educational outreach campaign, the plan conducted targeted outreach to members to make them aware of available vaccines, help them to determine their eligibility, and to locate the most convenient vaccination sites. In calls with eligible members, associates worked to build vaccine confidence by acknowledging the validity of questions and doubts about the vaccines while also addressing misinformation, promoting transparency, emphasizing vaccine safety, and highlighting the importance of immunization. The plan also addressed social determinants of health issues and potential obstacles such as transportation access and language barriers. This strategy was especially beneficial to members who may have faced difficulties scheduling an appointment on their own during the initial vaccine rollout period with limited providers and supplies.
Most recently, Gateway’s analytics team developed a member heat map, identifying locations with the largest concentrations of unvaccinated Gateway members. The heat map has precision that drills down to the zip code level. As a result of this level of detail, the plan has been able to target the most vulnerable neighborhoods through community and provider partnerships for additional educational outreach. The education is focused on addressing potential underlying vaccine hesitancy and misinformation.
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan have kicked off ‘Mobile Vax’, an initiative to reach and vaccinate more people for COVID-19, particularly in Black and Brown communities and non-English speaking populations.Hundreds of people have already been able to receive their first COVID-19 vaccination dose in East Boston. The initiative is supported by The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) and Last Mile Vaccine Delivery, a new public/private partnership service that aims to accelerate vaccine distribution.The mobile clinics aim to administer up to 500 vaccinations per day and will visit East Boston, Chelsea, Holyoke, and Chicopee over the next several weeks. The mobile vaccination clinics require an appointment scheduled by community organizers.
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson and Dajuan Eubanks of the Maine Red Claws are teaming up to raise awareness about the importance of COVID-19 vaccines.Samuelson and Eubanks are featured in a new Harvard Pilgrim public service campaign, which includes 15 and 30 second public service announcements (PSA), that will run on broadcast television in Maine and across various social media channels. The PSA, entitled "Opponents," encourages Maine residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Harvard Pilgrim partnered with a Portland based crew for the PSA production, which was filmed at the State Theater in Portland.
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and Tufts Health Plan Foundation are giving $1 million to 42 organizations across the region to expand vaccine education, awareness and outreach in communities of color. Grant recommendations were informed by community organizations, public health leaders and other key stakeholders engaged in the vaccine rollout in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Grants will support a range of organizations—from statewide organizations to local community nonprofits. They include faith-based organizations, trusted Black/Latinx-led community nonprofits, and organizations with experience coordinating multilingual efforts.
Health Net has awarded more than $4.5 million to community-based nonprofits to help vaccinate communities hardest hit by COVID and increase vaccine equity. In total, Health Net gave more than 80 grants to community-based organizations throughout the state. Among them, AltaMed Health Services (AltaMed) received $1.6 million in funding to support their community, broadcast, and digital outreach campaign to help thousands of Latinos in communities heavily impacted from the pandemic to make COVID-19 vaccine appointments.
Health Net, a subsidiary of Centene, is facilitating 180 mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics in neighborhoods across California. These events – open to both Health Net members and non-members alike – have been held in partnership with trusted community messengers. Notable "RVax 180" clinics and partners include:
- Thirty events at middle schools in partnership with the Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Department of Public Health and the Los Angeles Unified School District. The schools were selected based on high Medi-Cal population density, and were paired with a flag football activity hosted by the Rams.
- Ten clinics with the United Farm Workers Foundation in Merced and Kings counties.
- Two events with NFL Hall of Famer and University of Southern California standout Anthony Munoz in East Los Angeles and in his hometown of Ontario.
In the 8 months since vaccines became widely available, Health Net's mobile vaccination initiative has administered more than 12,000 COVID-19 vaccines. The company's goal is to reach 180 total clinics by the end of March 2022 – 1 year after the first clinic.
Health Net is supporting California Governor Newsom’s new Vaccinate All 58 social media campaign. To assure Californians that the vaccine is effective and safe to get when it becomes available, Health Net is sharing content from the campaign’s social media tool kit across channels.
A study co-authored by HealthPartners Institute and published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report highlights that a third dose of mRNA vaccine is highly effective at preventing severe illness caused by both Delta and Omicron variants in adults. When Omicron was the predominant variant, 2 doses of mRNA vaccines were 69% effective at preventing emergency department and urgent care visits within 2 months of vaccination, and 37% effective after 5 months. But, after a third dose, the vaccines were 87% effective at preventing emergency department and urgent care visits within 2 months of vaccination, and 66% after 4 months.
HealthPartners will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines to both current patients and non-patients ages 5-11 years old, by appointment only, starting Friday Nov. 5. Scheduling is available through our appointment centers and online at healthpartners.com/appointment. HealthPartners will proactively reach out to the parents or guardians of patients who are eligible via email or text. The notification will let parents know they can schedule an appointment; however, families don’t need to wait for an email or text to schedule.
Two new studies co-authored by HealthPartners Institute confirm that COVID-19 vaccines are highly protective, even against the Delta variant. Researchers looked at more than 30,000 urgent care visits, emergency department visits and hospital admissions during June and July after the Delta variant was widely circulating in the United States. They determined that the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against COVID-19 hospitalizations and emergency and urgent care encounters remained similar to the vaccine effectiveness prior to Delta variant predominance. The new data were published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and the New England Journal of Medicine.
HealthPartners will require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and influenza. Under the program, employees will be required to be vaccinated or document a medical or religious reason for declining to be vaccinated. Employees will have until Oct. 30 for COVID-19 and Nov. 30 for influenza to become fully vaccinated or document their declination. Volunteers, vendors, students and other non-employees also will be required to be vaccinated.
Health Plan of San Joaquin is partnering with San Joaquin County Clinics to host a COVID-19 vaccine and testing mobile clinic every Wednesday. The clinic will offer 1st, 2nd, and 3rd doses, as well as boosters. Health Plan of San Joaquin is also partnering with Sutter Gould Medical Foundation and the Tracy Unified School district to host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic March 4.
Health Plan of San Joaquin, in conjunction with Team Charter School and San Jose Public Health, held a Family Safety Day event that included COVID-19 vaccinations and testing. The event was open to the general public, and vaccines were available for everyone 5 years old and up. Booster shots were available for those 18 and older. Individuals who got vaccinated got a $100 gift card and were entered into a drawing for an Air Fryer, a $100 Visa card, or AirPods.
Health Plan of San Joaquin has created a “myth busters” guide for COVID-19 vaccines, debunking misinformation surrounding the vaccines. The guide includes information on how the vaccines work, their safety, as well as the overall need to get vaccinated.
Health Plan of San Joaquin has launched a COVID-19 vaccination education and outreach program focused on young adults and communities of color. These groups experience greater disparities in vaccinations. The multi-media Ask.Learn.Decide campaign will work to build trust and empower individuals to make their own decisions about getting vaccinated.
Golden Valley Health Centers, in partnership with El Concilio and Health Plan of San Joaquin, have kicked-off a series of Taco Tuesday COVID Clinic Events. COVID vaccinations will be administered by health care professionals. This COVID vaccine clinic is open to everyone, including members of Health Plan of San Joaquin. Information will be available about COVID-19 and vaccinations. The clinics will take place every Tuesday through November 30, and will possibly continue into December.
The Health Plan of San Joaquin held a free event offering COVID-19 testing and vaccines. The event was in partnership with San Joaquin County Clinics, San Joaquin General Hospital, Health Net, El Concilio Community, Partnership for Families of San Joaquin, and California Human Development. The event also included free walk-up wellness exams and the chance to talk to a doctor.
Health Plan of San Joaquin co-hosted a COVID-19 vaccination event September 18 along with San Joaquin County Public Health Services (SJCPH) and San Joaquin County Clinics (SJCC). The open was open to the public, including HPSJ members, and included giveaways. Health Plan of San Joaquin staff and volunteers, as well as SJCPH and SJCC medical staff, were available to answer questions at the event. The event was one of many local activities part of the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) initiative requesting that Medi-Cal plans use all communications mechanisms to support COVID vaccination for plan members.
Allegheny Health Network (AHN), Gateway Health, and Highmark Inc. teamed up with Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh Nov. 20 to vaccinate more than 100 pediatric patients between 5-11 years old against COVID-19. AHN pediatric clinicians kicked off vaccine administration to kids aged 5 to 11 earlier in November, strongly urging parents and guardians to get their children vaccinated as soon as its available to them.
Leaders from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Latino Connection, Highmark Blue Shield, and Penn State Health have recognized the efforts and accomplishments of the CATE (Community-Accessible Testing & Education) COVID-19 mobile unit. This initiative has hosted more than 230 events across Pennsylvania over the last 12 months, focused on reaching underserved, minority communities by providing essential COVID-19 resources including vaccines, tests, PPE, and bilingual literature on COVID-19 vaccine education. The CATE initiative was first unveiled on August 25, 2020 by Pennsylvania’s former Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Harrisburg. Since this launch, CATE initiative administered 8,300 COVID-19 vaccinations, 5,200 COVID-19 tests, and has reached more than 20,000 people across the state, especially in areas where access to resources and education were not readily available.
Highmark members will receive the COVID-19 vaccine free of charge.
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey has joined the Vaccine Community Connectors program, which aims to help vaccinate 2 million seniors living in the most vulnerable communities.
Dr. Anna Baldino, board-certified pediatrician and medical director at Independence Blue Cross, discussed the authorization of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages five and older on a recent Independence video. While serious COVID-19 illness is rare in children, some have become seriously ill, especially those with health conditions that increase their risk, such as asthma. Infected children are able to spread the coronavirus to family members, friends, and teachers and school staff, which is especially dangerous to those who are immunocompromised. The vaccine has been proven safe and effective in children 5–11 and 12–17, and is strongly recommended by the CDC.
Independence Blue Cross has released a video from Dr. Reetika Kumar, Market Medical Executive and VP of Strategic Clinical Solutions for Independence Blue Cross, stressing the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone. The video highlights that 90% of people hospitalized with COVID-19 did not get vaccinated, and reinforces that the vaccine is the strongest defense against serious illness and death.
Five influential members of the Philadelphia region − Andre Andrews, Kimberly McGlonn, Marcos Tlacopilco, Nelly Jimenez-Arevalo, and Shana Draugelis − devoted their time to support Independence Blue Cross' ongoing Beat COVID-19 public service campaign to reinforce the importance of getting vaccinated. The resulting “Our Greatest Tool” video, interview clips, and other advertisements and social media posts featuring the influencers will be used to remind regional residents that getting the vaccine and wearing masks regardless of vaccination status are the best ways to protect ourselves and others against COVID-19.
Independence Blue Cross has released its 2020-2021 Community Investment Report, which includes details on vaccination efforts. Independence has launched and supported vaccination sites across the region, including a mass vaccine initiative in collaboration with Rite Aid. Independence also transformed Independence LIVE into a vaccination site, vaccinating more than 20,000 people. Additionally, Independence has collaborated on several initiatives to increase vaccinations among underserved populations including the All Faiths Vaccination Campaign; support for the Black Doctor COVID-19 Consortium; and Latino Connection, which created the state’s first mobile response unit for COVID-19 testing, education, and vaccinations.
Independence Blue Cross has posted a new FAQ covering COVID-19 vaccines. The FAQs provide information on COVID-19 booster shots, where to get vaccinated, and Independence’s coverage policy for COVID-19 vaccinations, among other topics. Independence covers the cost of health professionals administering the vaccine with no cost sharing (co-pays, deductibles, coinsurance) for members regardless of where the vaccine is given or if the health professional administering the vaccine is in the Independence network.
Independence Blue Cross - is continuing its award-winning Beat COVID-19 public service campaign with a new focus on vaccine awareness and education. The comprehensive campaign is using TV, print, digital/social media, radio, outdoor advertising, podcasts, and more to reach people in the Philadelphia region who have questions or feel uncertain about receiving the vaccine, including communities of color and younger people.The new print and digital ads feature two themes emphasizing the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. “I Was on the Fence About the Vaccine” addresses public hesitancies by underscoring the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines. “There’s a Protector in Each of Us” speaks to the motivations behind vaccination, including protecting loved ones and the community from COVID-19, especially those who are unable to be vaccinated.
The first television and radio ads feature former head coach Dick Vermeil, a longtime Independence spokesperson, as well as regional football announcers Merrill Reese and Mike Quick. Their spots highlight how being vaccinated bolsters the health and well-being of the community. The campaign will also use other well-known, trusted, and influential community leaders to advance its messages.
Independence Blue Cross and Rite Aid have been working together to help Independence members secure COVID-19 vaccine appointments. The collaboration includes proactive outreach by Independence to vaccine-eligible members and one-on-one assistance setting up COVID-19 vaccine appointments at specific Rite Aid locations. This is part of Independence’s ongoing community-based efforts to support its most vulnerable members during the pandemic.The collaboration with Rite Aid began in early March and initially targeted Medicare Advantage members who live in priority areas that Independence identified across the five counties it serves. Philadelphia and Delaware Counties were initially selected based on the number of vaccine-eligible members living in zip codes with low vaccination rates, social barriers (e.g. limited access to internet for scheduling and transportation, etc.), and the availability of vaccines at Rite Aid stores in these locations. Once the initial priority areas were identified, specific Rite Aid locations in Philadelphia and Boothwyn were chosen. Independence prioritized members for outreach based on their social determinant of health barriers and clinical risk factors including treatment history for cancer, chronic kidney disease, Down syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions. Independence made outreach calls to each of the members and helped them make appointments to get the COVID-19 vaccine at specific Rite Aid locations near their residence.
Independence Blue Cross has joined the Vaccine Community Connectors pilot initiative, a national effort to help vaccinate 2 million at-risk seniors against COVID-19.
Independence Blue Cross is waiving all cost-sharing for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine to commercial group and individual members. For Medicare Advantage members, the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine and its administration will be covered by Medicare.
- Member health plans in the Minnesota Council of Health Plans will waive copays, deductibles, and coinsurance for the COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes available through the government’s multi-phased approach.
The All Faiths Vaccination campaign (AFVC) is a community-based initiative aimed at helping to provide access to the COVID-19 vaccine for Philadelphia’s underserved populations. Nearly 50 Philadelphia entities and organizations — including churches, leaders, and health professionals — came together for the initiative, which began in May. Independence Blue Cross hosted an event announcing the campaign, and Independence Blue Cross Foundation is one of the sponsors of the initiative. During the Month of May (May 21 – May 31), AFVC partners administered first doses during 51 vaccination clinic days at 15 community based locations. In June (June 1 – June 30), AFVC partners administered first and second doses during 66 vaccination clinic days at 13 community-based locations. Independence Blue Cross hosted the even, and the Independence Blue Cross Foundation is one of the sponsors.
“Everyone,” the latest Beat COVID-19 public service campaign video from Independence Blue Cross, joins trusted Philadelphia leaders Terrill Haigler, Jennifer Rodriguez, Esther Hio-Tong Castillo, and HughE Dillion to share an important reminder about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Independence Blue Cross is proud to bring these voices together to encourage vaccination so we can get back to enjoying our communities together.
The Philadelphia Tribune and Independence Blue Cross are continuing to address health disparities in the African American community with a new phase of their Our Community. Our Health campaign that is focused on COVID-19 vaccines. The campaign will encourage community members who have not been vaccinated to do so to protect themselves and their loved ones. The campaign will be carried out using print ads, social media content, and video. This new phase of the campaign kicked off with an open letter ad co-signed by Robert Bogle, president and CEO of The Philadelphia Tribune; and Greg Deavens, Independence president and CEO, on Sunday, Aug. 1. Additional ads and content will feature the following campaign ambassadors over the next six weeks: Richard Snow, Regional Development Director, UNCF; Rachel Ferguson, Chief Innovation & Global Diversity Officer, Visit Philadelphia; Pastor William Moore, Tenth Memorial Baptist Church; Dr. Brenda Allen, President, Lincoln University; and Ryan Boyer, Business Manager, Laborers’ District Council. The ambassadors being featured in the ads are some of the more than 100 African American community leaders who have been working to amplify the messages of the Our Community. Our Health. campaign since its start via community outreach, personal conversations, meetings, social media, and more.
Independence Blue Cross has collaborated with health providers and other partners to make it easier for people in the Philadelphia region to get their shots — especially those who are at-risk or live in underserved communities. Some of these efforts include:
- Working with vybe urgent care centers to transform the Independence LIVE customer experience center at 1919 Market Street in Center City Philadelphia into a vaccination siteinitially focused on Independence members and people in at-risk populations. Between March and June, the site administered more than 20,000 shots.
- Launching a collaboration with Rite Aidto reach out to vaccine-eligible members with one-on-one assistance to set up COVID-19 vaccine appointments at specific Rite Aid locations. More than 20,000 calls were made to eligible members, and more than 3,500 appointments were scheduled.
- Supporting Centennial Pharmacy Services to create and oversee COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Philadelphia communities with low vaccination rates in May.
- Coordinating with the Philadelphia Department of Health and other regional health departments to target outreach to Medicare members who were identified as vaccine eligible.
- Calling homebound members who live in Philadelphia, Chester, and Delaware counties to connect them with their county’s homebound vaccine provider.
- Collaborating with the City of Philadelphia, EMTs, and fire department staff to vaccinate homebound individuals.
- Joining the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and America’s Health Insurance Plans in the Vaccine Community Connectorsprogram, which pledged to promote vaccinations for 2 million underserved, at-risk Americans.
Independence has also worked to create awareness about the vaccines and provide education about vaccine safety. Foremost among Independence’s efforts is continuing its award-winning Beat COVID-19 public service campaign with a new focus on vaccine awareness and education. The comprehensive campaign is using TV, print, digital/social media, streaming, radio, outdoor advertising, podcasts and more to reach people who have questions or feel uncertain about receiving the vaccine. The campaign has also used well-known, trusted, and influential community leaders to advance its messages — including former Philadelphia Eagles Coach Dick Vermeil; Eagles announcers Mike Quick and Merrill Reese; Esther Hio-Tong Castillo (Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation); Terrill Haigler (Ya Fav Trashman); Jennifer Rodriguez (president and CEO, Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce); and HughE Dillon (Philly Chit Chat). In addition, Independence is working with The Philadelphia Tribune to launch a vaccine-focused phase of its “Our Community. Our Health.” campaign addressing chronic and other health conditions affecting the African American community. Independence provides continually updated vaccine information via a dedicated webpage, IBX Insights blogs, and IBX social media channels.
Inland Empire Health Plan and University of California Riverside Athletics are joining forces this season to bring health and wellness resources, including COVID-19 education and vaccine information, to the campus community and broader audiences. Utilizing a multi-channel approach, the organizations will serve as an access point to timely and accurate health information for students, staff, and the community during the ongoing pandemic.
Inland Empire Health Plan physicians are encouraging families in the region to vaccinate their children (ages 5-11) against COVID-19 as cases continue to surge across the state. The health plan is supporting access to the vaccine for Inland Empire families through sponsorships of child-friendly vaccine clinics across Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Members who receive their first COVID-19 vaccine are also eligible to receive a free $50 gift card at IEHP-sponsored clinics listed on the health plan’s website. IEHP is also providing fact-based information for parents and guardians on their website and across the plan’s social media accounts.
Inland Empire Health Plan is partnering with San Bernardino Valley College and Crafton Hills College to increase COVID-19 vaccine awareness, education, and utilization rates among students through student-led vaccine education. Trained by IEHP’s Community Health Teams and the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, the 8 student ambassadors – 4 at each campus – aim to increase on-campus vaccine rates by distributing vaccine information at booths located in the main areas of each campus, peer presentations, pop-up clinic promotions, and helping schedule vaccine appointments. IEHP will provide students with vaccine education resources, health plan materials, and promotional items to share during the program’s duration. In addition, the health plan will provide a stipend to the students committed to participate in the program four days (16 hours) a week.
The Ontario Fury, Ontario’s professional indoor soccer team, and Inland Empire Health Plan are teaming up this season to connect residents to needed community health resources, including vaccine access. The health plan’s marketing team will collaborate with Ontario Fury to organize interactive social media interviews, promote vaccine clinics, and more.
Inland Empire Health Plan held a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic during the Indio International Tamale Festival. Inland Empire Heath Plan also provided festival attendees with health education resources.
In the last 6 months, more than 38,400 Inland Empire residents have received their COVID-19 vaccines through an Inland Empire Health Plan-sponsored or supported clinic. Clinics are made possible through partnerships with community-based organizations like Loma Linda University Health, SAC Health System, St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, Inland Regional Center, and San Bernardino County and are expected to continue to combat the surging rates of COVID-19 cases. Approximately 36,900 vaccines have been administered through San Bernardino County's super vaccination site, held at the health plan's corporate headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga. In addition, more than 1,500 vaccines have been distributed at community events, like Que Buena's 2021 Fiestas Patrias community event, and church or organization-hosted clinics over the past six months.
To address the low COVID-19 vaccination rates in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, Inland Empire Health Plan has organized a series of educational campaigns, community partnerships and stakeholder collaborations to provide access and educational support to unvaccinated residents. According to state data, Black and Hispanic communities and Medi-Cal Members rank among the lowest in vaccination rates in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. In addition, case rates for COVID-19 positive patients in the region continue to dramatically fluctuate, posing ongoing uncertainty and risk. Since the roll out of the vaccine, IEHP has participated in several pop-up vaccine events, including a partnership with Loma Linda University Health (LLUH) and SAC Health System (SACHS), to organize a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church (St. Paul AME) in San Bernardino, a prominent place of worship for the county’s Black Community. With additional funding coming from the state Medi-Cal COVID-19 Vaccination Incentive Program, IEHP will continue to develop partnerships with the counties, community-based organizations, schools and churches to get innovate and craft additional actions to improve vaccination rates. IEHP will also be developing an incentive program to encourage IEHP network providers to increase the rates of COVID vaccination.
Inland Empire Health Plan is hosting a super vaccination site in partnership with San Bernardino County. The vaccination clinic is scheduled to run for approximately six months and county and Inland Empire Health Plan nurses will administer approximately 500 vaccines per day with plans to work up to administering 1,000 vaccines per day, based on availability. The clinic will include options to support individuals with mobility issues and an observation area to monitor for any side effects.
Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) has utilized My Turn online to provide and administer COVID-19 vaccines to nearly 4,000 homebound residents.
The vaccine initiative, introduced by the California Department of Healthcare Services, asks health plans to help members who are unable to leave their homes to get vaccinated due to age, medical or other health reasons.
To make the process as simple as possible for homebound members, IEHP contacts them directly and provides information about how to receive or schedule an in-home vaccination appointment.
If members need further assistance or do not have internet access, they are encouraged to call the California COVID-19 Hotline at 1-833-422-4255 to schedule their vaccine appointment.
Kaiser Permanente has made a $2.1 million grant to the Conference of National Black Churches (CNBC) to educate, encourage, and mobilize COVID-19 vaccination efforts. The grant was made through Kaiser’s fund at the East Bay Community Foundation and will help CNBC maintain and extend its outreach efforts as vaccines and boosters become more widely available. Kaiser Permanente is also supporting similar activities for Latino faith communities, awarding grants to the national Catholic Cares Coalition and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The materials developed by faith leaders as part of this work will better equip church-going elders, grandparents, and parents with tools and credible information to advise younger loved ones who are less likely to regularly attend church.
Kaiser Permanente recently convened a virtual panel discussion to talk about how the private sector can help keep communities safe from COVID-19 and speed a return to a strong and stable economy. Experts agreed that vaccinations are the best and fastest path out of the public health crisis. Real-world data continues to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines, said Stephen Parodi, MD, executive vice president, The Permanente Federation, and national infectious disease lead at Kaiser Permanente. Partnering with government and community leaders, the private sector can continue to play an important role in increasing vaccination rates. Kaiser Permanente has shared research on vaccine safety and effectiveness and also developed playbooks to share knowledge with leaders across sectors as they collectively grappled with COVID-19. The playbooks — covering topics ranging from how to implement an employee vaccination mandate to how to how to keep employees safe when they return to work — are available to anyone interested.
COVID-19 vaccine recipients had lower non-COVID-19 death rates than people who weren’t vaccinated, according to Kaiser Permanente research published October 22 in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. To determine mortality risk associated with COVID-19 vaccination, researchers evaluated the electronic health records of 6.4 million COVID-19 vaccine recipients compared to 4.6 million unvaccinated people with similar demographics and geographic locations from December 14, 2020, through July 31, 2021.
The Kaiser Permanente employee vaccination rate has increased from 78% to 92% following an August announcement requiring all employees to have a COVID-19 vaccination or request a medical or religious exemption. The vaccination rate was 78% at the time of the August announcement.
Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii announced grants to Hawaii Public Health Institute (HIPHI) and Filipino Community Center (FilCom). The money, totaling approximately $250K, will support COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and non-English speaking communities. The HIPHI and FilCom grants will specifically fund ongoing vaccination clinics being held within the Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and non-English speaking communities. It also supports ongoing collaboration with the Department of Health to coordinate and track vaccinations for people who are homebound. The grants are part of a comprehensive national Kaiser Permanente COVID-19 education campaign to fill information gaps and foster trust among communities most impacted by the pandemic. So far, Kaiser Permanente has provided $5 million in grants to support 24 nonprofit and community-based organizations that are providing direct assistance in communities across the United States to people most affected by COVID-19. The campaign is designed to encourage vaccination, motivate people to keep wearing masks, physically distance, and avoid gatherings until the pandemic ends.
Kaiser Permanente is joining the White House fors. its National Month of Action sprint to vaccinate 70% of adults in the United States against COVID-19 with at least one shot by July 4. By launching several programs and incentives to engage unvaccinated individuals, Kaiser Permanente is aiming to increase confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine and provide easy access to receive it.
Kaiser Permanente’s new initiatives include:
- $10 million in community grants: Kaiser Permanente is targeting 100 community-based organizations to receive funding to continue to promote vaccine confidence messages and engage organizations such as churches, schools, and other trusted community hubs. This funding is in addition to our prior investment of $25 million in nearly 200 community-based organizations to increase vaccine access and build confidence in high-risk populations.
- ImmUNITY sweepstakes: Open to anyone age 12 and older who has been vaccinated by Kaiser Permanente and all vaccinated Kaiser Permanente members — regardless of where they got vaccinated — this sweepstakes will encourage vaccination while also supporting a full and healthy return to life’s activities. One thousand people will win Be Well Rewards that include wellness retreats, healthy home meal deliveries, personal training equipment, gym memberships, and family trips to theme parks and national parks.
- Influencer and social media campaign: Reaching an online audience of 18- to 30-year-olds, this campaign will deliver relevant messaging from trusted voices and social influencers. Activities will include social engagement programs with existing partners, including the Cloud9 esports organization.
- Member and community education: Continued outreach to Kaiser Permanente members and broader communities will deliver trusted messaging on COVID-19 vaccination and safety that expands the organization’s ongoing work to prioritize outreach to Black, Latino, Asian American, Pacific Islander, and other disproportionately impacted communities.
- Publication of a vaccine confidence toolkit: This toolkit focuses on improving vaccine access and equity and highlights Kaiser Permanente’s proven approaches, including the use of trusted messengers and population health strategies to encourage vaccination. The toolkit is intended to share best practices to help other health systems and vaccine providers accelerate vaccination rates.
- Population-based care: For unvaccinated eligible people, Kaiser Permanente is using culturally relevant emails, mailings, and texts to encourage vaccination. Messages are tailored to individuals and populations and use a variety of messengers, including our providers and employees who reflect the people of their community.
- Personalized physician outreach: When unvaccinated Kaiser Permanente members see their physician and care team in person, we are using prompts to discuss vaccination in a personalized venue. When patients come to our pharmacies and labs, they can use conveniently placed posters with QR codes to access our vaccine clinics that are now available on a walk-in basis.
Kaiser Permanentein the Northwest is partnering with the Oregon Primary Care Association (OPCA) on an initiative to increase vaccination rates among underserved and communities of color in Oregon.OPCA, a nonprofit membership association of Oregon’s 34 Federally Qualified Health Centers, also known as community health centers, will oversee the distribution of $1.1 million in funding from Kaiser Permanente to 11 CHCs throughout the region. Oregon’s community health centers provide integrated medical, dental, and behavioral health services to over 466,000 Oregonians at over 270 sites across the state. As trusted partners in their communities, these clinics are well positioned to address equitable vaccination administration but need support to ramp up capacity quickly. The grant dollars will be applied toward a range of needs, including:
- Hiring temporary staff to manage vaccination sites
- Transporting patients to vaccination appointments
- Providing community health workers to do outreach and help people navigate ever-changing guidelines, vaccine appointments, and locations
- Providing language access resources for vaccination sites
- Investing in infrastructure, including personal protective equipment, storage, and supplies
- Launching mobile vaccine clinics
- Partnering with other community-based organizations that serve hard-to-reach populations
Kaiser Permanente, Colorado’s largest nonprofit health plan, is helping to alleviate the cost and increase the availability of transportation options along the Front Range for seniors receiving their COVID-19 vaccination.
Kaiser Permanente is collaborating with 8 transportation service providers along the Front Range, providing $45,000 to ensure seniors with Medicare and other older adults can get a ride to receive their vaccination, without worrying about the cost of that car trip.
The support will cover the costs of transporting seniors to their scheduled vaccination appointment at eligible Kaiser Permanente locations or other eligible vaccination providers in the state including medical clinics, community vaccination sites, or retail pharmacy providers.
A grant from L.A. Care is funding awards for the Pasadena Public Health Department’s COVID-19 Vaccine Video Contest. The contest involves creating artwork or a short social media video to highlight the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccination. It is open to students 4-24 years old. Students will compete for their school or on teams, and could win awards ranging from $50 to $1,500.
L.A. Care Health Plan has launched a pilot program that will put vaccine hesitant members in direct contact with a highly trusted source – their primary care provider (PCP). The COVID-19 Educate + Vaccinate Program will impact as many as 80,000 currently unvaccinated L.A. Care members. PCPs serving L.A. Care Medi-Cal members and Cal MediConnect members will be eligible for a financial incentive for each member ages 5 and above who gets their first COVID-19 vaccine between February 14 and April 30, 2022.
L.A. Care Health Plan is hosting at least a dozen new vaccine clinics starting the week of January 10, and is supporting more than a dozen others, targeting Los Angeles County communities where vaccine rates are lower than the general population. The health plan is working with schools, colleges, and faith-based organizations to reach communities where vaccine hesitancy is, in part, fueling the new surge in coronavirus cases. The health plan is especially interested in boosting vaccination numbers among its Medi-Cal members. The vaccination rate for L.A. Care’s Medi-Cal members is currently 65.4%, compared to the countywide rate of 88.8%.
L.A. Care Health Plan has committed $75,000 to sponsor 15 vaccine clinics hosted by the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) middle schools in under vaccinated communities. The vaccination rate among Medi-Cal members 12 and older in L.A. County is 64.2%, while the overall vaccination rate in the county is 86.1%. The goal of this collaboration is to provide access to and education about the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine to L.A. Care members, their families, and communities. In addition to the mobile vaccine clinic, each event will include an assembly to promote health and wellness, sometimes with the entire school.
L.A. Care Health Plan has rolled out another effort to vaccinate county residents against COVID-19. L.A. Care is now hosting COVID-19 vaccination clinics in the Community Resource Centers it operates with Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan. To further encourage all members and residents in their communities to get vaccinated, many of the events will include a food pantry. The Community Resource Centers have been holding regular food pantries as food insecurity has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. L.A. Care is also participating in the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Incentive Program, so any of the health plan’s eligible Medi-Cal and CalMediConnect (CMC) members who get their first or second shot at one of these events will be eligible to receive a $50 gift card in the mail.
L.A. Care Health Plan has awarded the City of Pasadena a $167,500 Community Health Investment Fund grant to boost COVID-19 vaccinations by the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD). PPHD will use the funding to administer a minimum of 8,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to L.A. Care members living in Pasadena and 1,000 doses to Pasadena residents who are not members of the health plan. L.A. Care estimates this grant will help reduce the number of unvaccinated members in Pasadena by 17%. There are currently more than 26,000 unvaccinated L.A. Care members living in Pasadena.
L.A. Care Health Plan has launched a COVID-19 Vaccination Incentive Program to encourage its unvaccinated Medi-Cal and Cal MediConnect (CMC) members to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Eligible Medi-Cal and CMC members who get either their first or second COVID-19 vaccine will get a $50 gift card, one per person while supplies last. This applies to eligible members 12 years and older who received their first or second shot on or after Monday, November 1. Right now, just under 61 percent of L.A. Care’s Medi-Cal and Cal MediConnect members 12+ have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
L.A. Care sponsored Let’s Take a Shot, a panel discussion focusing on the science of the COVID-19 vaccines, with experts to debunk the myths and misinformation that are keeping people from getting a life-saving vaccine. The panel was part of KJLH 2021 Men’s Empowerment Summit: Protect the Black Man.
The Let’s Take a Shot panel was moderated by Dr. Auleria Eakins, L.A. Care’s Manager of Community Outreach and Engagement. Panelists included:
- Oliver Brooks, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Watts Healthcare Corporation
- Jerry Abraham, MD, MPH, Director of Vaccines, Kedren Community Health Center
- Justin Hudson, Organizational Development Analyst, L.A. Care Health Plan
The panelists discussed why many in the Black community don’t trust the vaccines and ways that they can change the narrative in that community.
Panelists also explained that while the vaccine production was rapid, it was done efficiently and safely.
L.A. Care Health Planannounced that more than one million members have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, with the vast majority of those individuals being fully vaccinated. The health plan submitted its COVID-19 Vaccination Response Plan to the state’s Department of Health Care Services last week, and received approval within 24 hours. Approval of the plan means L.A. Care will have access to 20% of the state funding they are eligible for to support a wide range of efforts to expand vaccinations.
A nonprofit organization that provides affordable health care at five centers to low-income and uninsured Los Angeles residents is using a $75,000 grant from L.A. Care Health Plan to expand efforts to distribute COVID-19 vaccinations within the county's Latino and Black communities. The grant will allow QueensCare Health Centers to expand vaccination clinic sites within the community and to work toward the organization's goal of providing 190,000 vaccinations to Los Angeles communities of color. The grant is part of a $1.95 million initiative announced earlier in 2021 by LA Care Health Plan to expand vaccine distribution efforts in communities of color.
Magnolia Health is engaging Mississippians to encourage them to receive the COVID-19 vaccine when available and help prevent the spread of the virus with a 30-second PSA from NFL legend and friend of the Hall of Fame Deuce McAllister.In addition to the PSA, which will run on TV and digital platforms, Magnolia's Chief Medical Director Dr. Jeremy Erwin is sharing general information about the vaccine, the phased approach to availability, its safety and efficacy, and other details.
Martin’s Point Health Care is offering walk-in COVID-19 booster clinics for the general public aged 18 and over. The clinics have been running all January and will end January 28. There is no charge for the boosters. Anyone interested in receiving a booster must show a photo ID, CDC vaccine care, and an insurance card, if they have insurance.
The MolinaCares Accord, in conjunction with Passport Health Plan, is offering $100 gift cards for unvaccinated members who get their COVID-19 vaccination. Recipients must be 12 years or older and an active Passport Health Plan member to qualify for the gift card.
The Molina Healthcare Charitable Foundation, in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of Washington, has donated $25,000 to Peninsula Community Health Services. The grant will support the Keeping Kids in School Safely (K.K.I.S.S.) program by funding a series of school vaccination events. The grant will fund 12 in-school events, each of which will feature COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, as well as flu vaccinations.
Molina Healthcare of Texas hosted 17 vaccine clinics throughout the state this past summer. In partnership with MD Kids Pediatrics and CVS Pharmacy, Molina hosted vaccine events in Pharr, Cypress, Dallas, and El Paso between July and September. The clinics were open to the public. Many of the vaccine events coincided with the start of the school year, with some clinics giving participants new backpacks, care packages and gift cards.
The MolinaCares Accord,in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of Mississippi, is partnering with local universities’ nursing programs, faith-based organizations, and providers to increase the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations. MolinaCares and its partners will host drive-thru immunization events throughout the summer, which will be open to Molina members and other members of the community.
The collaborative initiative kicked off with two vaccine events on June 26.
The MolinaCares Accord, in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of Michigan, has donated $10,000 to the Western Wayne Family Health Centers in support of a COVID-19 vaccination/health outreach program. Funding will go towards expanding COVID-19 vaccinations, testing and treatment, as well as outreach events for Western Wayne Family Health Center.
The MolinaCares Accord (“MolinaCares”), in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of Mississippi (“Molina”), teamed up with football Hall of Famer and three-time Super Bowl champion Jerry Rice, a Crawford native, to launch a television and digital advertising campaign to help encourage Mississippians to get vaccinated.
MolinaCares has also partnered with Mississippi universities, faith-based organizations, and providers to host drive-thru immunization events, increasing access to the COVID-19 vaccine among underserved populations within Mississippi.
The full video can be viewed here.
MVP Health Care, Schenectady County, and CDTA today announced a partnership to bring COVID-19 vaccines to neighborhoods in Schenectady County with lower than County average vaccination rates. The one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine became available at predetermined locations throughout the County as of May 20, 2021. The CDTA trolley will stop at locations that include food pantries, faith-based organizations, libraries, and municipal housing sites over a two-month time-period.
While Schenectady County is one of the top counties in New York State for adult vaccination, specific zip codes are showing lower than average vaccination levels. To incentivize the community to do their part to end the pandemic, every community member who gets a vaccine during these PODs, will receive a voucher for a free scoop of ice cream from Stewart’s Shops while supplies last and will be entered to win a $500 Visa gift card from MVP Health Care.
The Ohio Department of Medicaid announced that COVID-19 vaccination rates are on the rise among Ohioans who are supported by Medicaid. As of Aug. 8, 804,286 individuals with Medicaid in Ohio have been fully vaccinated or had their first shot, with 37,213 Medicaid members initiating vaccination in the last two weeks alone. Ohio Medicaid managed care organizations have introduced a series of initiatives to increase vaccine rates including partnering with local health departments, providing gift cards for members, and ensuring transportation was available to and from vaccine sites. Since the beginning of the program in June, the gift card amount has increased to $100. As signs of the Delta variant grew, the MCOs developed deeper partnerships with pharmacies to distribute gift cards at the point of vaccination. Now, more than 600 pharmacies across the state have gift cards in hand to distribute to people with Medicaid when they get their first shot. Medicaid members who are vaccinated at places without on-site gift cards can receive them through the mail.
Passport Health Plan
Together with MonlinaCares Accord, Passport Health Plan is offering $100 gift card to WalMart, Amazon, Kroger, or CVS to encourage non-vaccinated members to get vaccinated for COVID-19. To qualify, applicants must:
- Be 12 years or older
- Be an active Passport member
- Get a COVID-19 vaccine after June 1, 2021
Passport also offers assistance with finding transportation and making vaccination appointments.
Lawyers for Civil Rights and Point32Health announced today that 15 diverse- and women-owned small businesses located in New Bedford and Fall River have been awarded grants to promote vaccine awareness in their communities. As part of this community initiative, the small businesses will serve as vaccine ambassadors in their communities helping to spread awareness about the vaccine and its efficacy. Each business will receive $1,300. Funding and support for this initiative was provided by Point32Health.
To reach traditionally underserved communities in several Massachusetts cities and towns, the combined organization of Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (Point32Health) has initiated ‘Mobile Vax’, an initiative to reach and vaccinate more people for COVID-19, particularly in Black and Brown communities and non-English speaking populations. The initiative is supported by The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) and Last Mile Vaccine Delivery, a new public/private partnership service that aims to accelerate vaccine distribution.
Latino Equity Fund (LEF), the only philanthropic Latinx-focused fund in Massachusetts and an affiliate of The Boston Foundation, facilitated its connections to work with the combined organization of Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim to offer vaccine access to these communities and help overcome vaccine hesitancy.
ASG, a Boston-based multicultural marketing agency is working to make residents of these communities aware of the mobile units and have engaged community organizers to call and door-knock to invite residents to this free community service and to provide them with the information needed to register. DPV, minority-owned business that transforms ground transportation to move companies and communities forward, is providing transportation for this effort.
The mobile clinics aim to administer up to 500 vaccinations per day and will visit East Boston, Chelsea, Holyoke, and Chicopee over the next several weeks. The mobile vaccination clinics require an appointment scheduled by community organizers.
Providence Health Plan has posted a guide to talking to family and friends about getting a COVID-19 vaccination. The guide includes how to address vaccine misinformation, as well ways to offer support and encouragement to friends and family who are deciding whether the get the vaccine.
Providence Health Plan members can receive COVID-19 vaccines at no cost. Additionally, the cost of administration of the vaccine is covered in full by any in-network or out-of-network provider. Medicare beneficiaries can receive their COVID-19 vaccination from any Medicare provider even if the provider is out of network for their Medicare Advantage Plan, while all other members can receive their COVID-19 vaccination from any provider, even if the provider is out of network.
Regence health plans will cover the administration of a third COVID-19 vaccine booster shot at no cost to members who have received two previous mRNA vaccines, pending authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Regence members can continue to access the COVID-19 vaccines free of charge until the end of the Public Health Emergency period. Fully insured and Medicare members can access COVID-19 treatment at no out-of-pocket costs through Dec. 31, 2021.
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon has provided a significant gift to help fund mobile vaccination clinics from Medical Teams International. The organization’s staff and network of medical volunteers will administer the vaccine, with a focus on reaching communities that are underserved and people lacking health insurance. The support from Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon will allow the clinics to scale-up and reach Oregonians who have barriers to accessing large-scale vaccination sites. The funding will support an estimated 20 clinics operating on a reservation-only registration system.
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah - United Way of Salt Lake (UWSL) and Utah 211 announced the launch of the Ride United Vaccine Access Campaign, providing access to free rides to COVID-19 vaccination appointments in Salt Lake County and surrounding areas, in partnership with Lyft and Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah. Vaccination rides are the latest implementation of the Ride United program, which seeks to reduce transportation barriers that prevent clients from accessing health care, getting quality jobs, completing education programs, and more.The local Ride United Vaccine Access program is made possible by a partnership with Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah. The nonprofit health insurer provided a donation aimed at improving access to vaccination appointments for vulnerable, underserved residents by funding roundtrip rides, initiated through Utah 211, in at-risk communities.
Regence BlueShield has provided a significant gift to help fund mobile vaccination clinics from Medical Teams International. The organization’s staff and network of medical volunteers will administer the vaccine, with a focus on reaching communities that are underserved and people lacking health insurance. The support from Regence BlueShield will allow the clinics to scale-up and reach Washington residents who have barriers to accessing large-scale vaccination sites. The funding will support an estimated 30 clinics operating on a reservation-only registration system.
Sentara Healthcare has launched a new website for patients and community members to quickly view and schedule a first-dose vaccine appointment at an upcoming Sentara COVID-19 vaccine clinic.Anyone who is 16 years or older is invited to visit Sentara’s self-scheduling website at www.sentara.com/vaccineclinic.Those who are 16 or 17 years old must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. A signed vaccine consent form will be required upon check-in. Those who are 16 or 17 years old are only able to receive the Pfizer vaccine, per FDA guidelines. The website will identify which vaccine will be used at each clinic.
Starting December 9, SCAN Health Plan, in partnership with MedArrive, a platform powering care into the home, will dispatch paramedic and EMT teams across Los Angeles and Orange Counties to provide flu vaccines and COVID-19 boosters to homebound SCAN members. The vaccinations will also be available to caregivers and adult family members at no cost. The latest in-home vaccination program is modeled after SCAN’s successful in-home COVID vaccination program, which provided 2-dose vaccines to homebound members, their caregivers, and family members earlier this year. This unique collaboration successfully reduced vaccination inequities among SCAN’s Latinx, Black and low-income member population.
SCAN Health Plan has made the decision to adopt a mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for all employees. The purpose of this policy is to keep our members, the communities we serve, employees, and partners healthy and safe. Beginning August 27, 2021, at 6pm, only fully vaccinated employees with a critical business need will be allowed inside SCAN headquarters buildings. By October 13, 2021, all SCAN employees who work in the field and physically interact with others to provide services or conduct business on SCAN’s behalf must provide proof that they are fully vaccinated.
SCAN Health Plan is providing in-home COVID-19 vaccinations to homebound plan members and their families in Los Angeles County. The vaccination program, the first of its kind, is made possible through a unique partnership between SCAN and MedArrive, a logistics platform that enables healthcare payers and providers to seamlessly extend care services into the home, unlocking access to highly qualified, trusted EMTs and Paramedics.The vaccines are being administered by trained EMTs at no cost to the members. Caregivers and other eligible household members are also receiving the vaccine at no cost.Over the past two weeks, MedArrive team members have made hundreds of outreach calls in English and Spanish to homebound SCAN members who reside in Los Angeles County. During these calls, MedArrive representatives have helped people schedule their vaccination appointments and answered questions about vaccine safety. SCAN and MedArrive are targeting an initial group of more than 1,000 homebound adults in Los Angeles County to ensure they are vaccinated.
SCAN Health Plan is offering members access to SCAN TeleTalks, a series of large-scale conference calls addressing the COVID-19 vaccine.
SCAN Health Plan has announced the results of its ongoing COVID-19 vaccination efforts. Through unique collaborations, culturally relevant outreach, family caregiver support, and a staunch focus on building trust, SCAN successfully reduced troubling vaccination inequities among its member population.
- Since February 2021, the vaccination gap between Black and White SCAN members was reduced from 17% to 6%.
- Since February 2021, the vaccination gap between Latinx and White SCAN members was reduced from 11% to 4%
- Since February 2021, the vaccination gap between low income and other members was reduced from 15% to 8%.
- Since February 2021, the vaccination gap between members who live in zip codes highest within the community need index (4-5) was reduced from 16% to 8%.
All numbers are accurate as of July 31, 2021.
Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters Health System, Riverside Health System, and Sentara Healthcare all announced they have each expanded their employee vaccination policies to include the expectation that all team members will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18, 2021. This timeline gives employees eight weeks to become fully vaccinated now that the FDA has approved at least one of the vaccines. The region’s healthcare organizations’ announcements come after the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association’s July 18, 2021 statement supporting COVID-19 vaccine requirements for all hospital and health system employees.
Sharp Health Plan and its plan medical groups are doing outreach to members who have been identified as homebound (or unable to leave their home due to illness or old age) to ensure that anyone who can't get to a COVID-19 vaccination site is still able to get vaccinated.
Before three safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines became available in the U.S., only 42% of Black Americans said they planned to get one. While that number has since increased—50% of Black people in the country have now received a COVID-19 vaccine—vaccine hesitancy and issues related to access to the vaccine among Black Americans remain a concern.
“African Americans and Hispanics have lost 2.9 to 3 years of life as a result of COVID-19—directly or indirectly,” says Dr. Robert Gillespie, a cardiologist with Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group. “And that signals there must be something going on. That’s why we are committed to deliver better health to our communities, whether we’re talking about COVID-19 or any other major health condition, from diabetes and obesity to hypertension—all of which overwhelmingly affect the African American community. The way we’ve historically approached health care for this population has not been effective, so we need to look at more effective ways.”
Challenges to vaccination—whether they are historical, social, political, economic or environmental—can be addressed through a variety of efforts to encourage more Black Americans to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Gillespie says. He has joined forces with other local health care providers under the banner of the Joint Initiatives for Racial Equity in Health (JIREH) to launch effective outreach programs in San Diego.
Efforts will include:
· Building vaccine confidence among Black San Diegans
· Sharing clear and accurate information about COVID-19
· Raising awareness about the benefits of vaccination
· Addressing common vaccine-related questions and concerns
· Adapting key messages to resonate with communities
· Removing barriers to vaccine access, such as lack of transportation or inconvenient hours at vaccine sites
· Using trusted venues, messengers and groups for vaccine outreach and distribution
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Ambetter from Sunshine Health teamed up to produce a video encouraging everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The video featured Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians along with Ambetter from Sunshine Health Senior Vice President Charlene Zein.
Sunshine Health, a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, teamed up with the Pensacola Lamplighters, a youth leadership group, for a public service campaign encouraging COVID-19 vaccinations, especially for youth ages 5-18. In public service announcement videos timed to coincide with the vaccine becoming available to those ages 5 and older, Lamplighter youth leaders explained their decision to get vaccinated. They also mixed in their signature dance performances, which they use to help convey messages.
Sutter Health Plus’ Sutter Walk-In Care is offering COVID-19 vaccine appointments at all locations.
Vaccinations are offered at multiple locations across the Sutter Health Plus service area. Members can schedule appointments through:
- Sutter’s patient portal, My Health Online, or by calling the Sutter Health COVID-19 Vaccine appointment line at 844-987-6115
- California’s list of local COVID-19 resource websites to sign up for county alerts and find vaccination sites
- Network pharmacies
- My Turn, California’s COVID-19 vaccine scheduling portal
As a reminder, there is no member cost share for COVID-19 vaccines.
Trillium Health Plan has sponsored several recent events offering COVID-19 vaccines to attendees. Trillium sponsored a community health fair offering gift cards for getting a COVID-19 vaccinations. Recipients could get $100 for the first Pfizer or Moderna dose, and $50 for the second dose. Recipients of the J&J vaccine could get a $150 gift card. An upcoming event, the Doulas Latinas Harvest Celebration, will feature snacks, gift cards, and COVID-19 vaccinations for ages 12 and older.
Trillium Community Health Plan is sponsoring a Community Health Fair where attendees can receive a free COVID-19 vaccination. Attendees can receive a $100 gift card for their first dose, $50 for their second dose, and $150 for a Johnson & Johnson vaccination.
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and Tufts Health Plan Foundation are giving $1 million to 42 organizations across the region to expand vaccine education, awareness and outreach in communities of color. Grant recommendations were informed by community organizations, public health leaders and other key stakeholders engaged in the vaccine rollout in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Grants will support a range of organizations—from statewide organizations to local community nonprofits. They include faith-based organizations, trusted Black/Latinx-led community nonprofits, and organizations with experience coordinating multilingual efforts.
UCare is the first Minnesota health plan to offer an incentive for COVID-19 vaccines – starting September 1 through the end of the year. Minnesota Health Care Program members are eligible for a $25 reward card upon completing COVID-19 vaccine series. The incentive applies to Minnesota Health Care Program members age 12 and over enrolled in Families & Children (PMAP), MinnesotaCare, Minnesota Senior Health Options, Minnesota Senior Care Plus, and UCare Connect and UCare Connect + Medicare plans for individuals with disabilities who complete their COVID-19 vaccine series after Sept. 1. The roll out supports Minnesotans who did not get vaccinated in time to qualify for the state’s incentive program which ended Aug. 22. In response to accessibility barriers faced by many of our members, UCare’s community outreach team also proactively calls unvaccinated members to help them find the vaccine in their community, get signed up for the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector or answer questions about the vaccine.
UCare organized a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine clinic at its headquarters in Northeast Minneapolis, focused on vulnerable members. The first doses were given May 7-8, and second doses will be administered June 5-6.UCare’s team of engagement specialists and Community Health Workers scheduled appointments, provided language assistance and arranged transportation. The team includes Hmong, Somali and Spanish speakers, and Black/African American community members. Scheduling was followed up with a mailed confirmation, map and vaccine information form to complete beforehand. If unable to attend, UCare members are scheduled for a vaccine with other community providers.
UCare is working with trusted community leaders from diverse communities to engage members and build confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine, and is participating in the industry-wide Vaccine Community Connectors pilot initiative led by America’s Health Insurance Plans to vaccinate two million Americans in the most vulnerable communities in the next 100 days. UCare’s vaccination outreach and support efforts are ongoing. To date, activities include:
- Vaccine Clinics – 37 UCare volunteers assisted Hennepin Healthcare to vaccinate 6,300 health care workers and school employees over 6 weeks. UCare sponsored two M Health Fairview clinics in the Cedar Riverside Somali community and helped schedule appointments for an Allina Health pop-up clinic.
UCare called members who have had COVID-19 or who have been identified as high risk of complications if they get COVID-19. Tailored outreach through emails, postcards, and booklet kits are helping members avoid getting COVID-19. UCare is also placing 2nd dose reminder calls to members who had their first COVID-19 vaccine, and continuously updating COVID-19 web content.
UCare sponsored educational videos featuring trusted community voices in four languages – English, Spanish, Hmong, and Somali produced by Sahan Journal.
UCare is currently planning:
- Two large-scale COVID-19 vaccine events at the State Fairgrounds in spring and summer
- UCare Healthmobile COVID-19 vaccine events in outstate Minnesota and targeted neighborhoods in the Twin Cities metro starting this spring
- A multicultural educational campaign in UCare member languages and communities
- Calls to eligible members to help schedule COVID-19 appointments and/or register them with the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccine Connector
- A UCare Vaccine Hotline
- Community outreach and education to ensure fair and just access to the vaccine for all populations UCare serves
United Health Alliance
United Health Alliance (UHA) Health Insurance is covering 100% of the cost for COVID-19 vaccination shots.
UPMC Health Plan - As part of UPMC Health Plan’s comprehensive, wide-ranging effort to connect members to available vaccines, UPMC CHC and the other two Community HealthChoices Medicaid managed care organizations have partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and Rite Aid pharmacies to set up vaccination clinics for this vulnerable population across Pennsylvania. Specifically, UPMC CHC identified unvaccinated members and scheduled and transported them to clinics as part of this coordinated effort.
UPMC Health Plan is covering the COVID-19 vaccine as a preventive service at no cost to members. UPMC will cover COVID-19 vaccinations regardless of whether they are received from a hospital, pharmacy, or other licensed health care provider.
UPMC Health Plan has joined the Vaccine Community Connectors (VCC) Initiative. The initiative includes a partnership between America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the Association of Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP), and other national health insurance providers and aims to vaccinate millions of people living in America’s most at-risk, vulnerable, and underserved communities.
Joining the VCC is the latest action UPMC Health Plan has taken to address vaccine equity. UPMC Health Plan has supported numerous clinics in predominantly Black and Latino communities in Pittsburgh through partnerships with local churches and other community organizations. These efforts are included in the more than 156,600 calls placed to UPMC Health Plan Member Service “concierges” on their vaccine helplines and the more than 111,000 proactive calls made to members to connect them with local vaccination appointments.
The COVID-19 vaccine is covered at no cost to Viva Health members covered under both commercial and Medicare plans.
WellCare of Kentucky is offering voluntary, in-home COVID-19 vaccines and $100 gift cards to incentivize its Medicaid members 12 years and older to get vaccinated. WellCare is contacting members in rural counties with the lowest vaccination rates and offering to bring the vaccine to them. Only members who opt in and agree to participate will be able to schedule an in-home vaccination with a WellCare representative. To further incentivize participation, WellCare is also offering $100 gift cards to its Medicaid members who get vaccinated in July and August.
Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield will cover COVID-19 vaccinations with no member cost-sharing payments, deeming it a preventive service under the ACA.
The West Virginia Association of Health Plans (WVAHP) announced progress in the COVID-19 vaccination efforts conducted by its managed care organization (MCO) members, which have contributed to increased vaccination rates amongst Medicaid members in West Virginia. MCOs manage the healthcare benefits of West Virginia Medicaid members. At the beginning of summer, MCOs stepped up outreach and incentive efforts to encourage their Medicaid members to take advantage of COVID-19 vaccines. The effort was in concert with Governor Jim Justice’s overall outreach campaign. As a result of the focused outreach, over 17,000 additional Medicaid members have been vaccinated since the end of May 2021 – representing a 33% increase from the same time-period.
WPS Health Solutions recently delivered treats and healthy snacks to health care workers in Madison, Wisconsin to boost morale and spotlight the importance of COVID-19 booster shots. WPS employees visited SSM Health St. Mary’s, UnityPoint Health-Meriter, and UW Health with baskets of goodies for health care personnel who continue to work through staffing shortages and large numbers of patients hospitalized with COVID-19. WPS encourages those who are eligible to receive a booster shot after they have completed their COVID-19 vaccine primary series. The baskets were delivered to the 65 employees in the SSM Health St. Mary’s COVID-19 unit and 145 employees in the UnityPoint Health-Meriter intensive care and COVID-19 units.
For more than a year, health insurance providers have been taking decisive actions to help patients, communities, providers, and businesses, and to curb the spread of the virus. Learn more here.