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Health Insurance Providers Actions Concerning SDOH

posted by AHIP

on March 1, 2021

  • Blue Shield of California Through their jointly-operated Community Resource Centers, Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan and L.A. Care Health Plan are rolling out a series of drive-thru and walk-up food pantry events across Los Angeles County in response to the growing food insecurity burdening nearly every community. The food distribution events, which will start February 20, 2021 and run throughout the year, are free and open to everyone. All safety guidelines recommended by public health officials will be followed.    

    The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank reports an estimated 1 in 4 people in Los Angeles County lives with food insecurity – the disruption of food intake or eating patterns because of lack of money and other resources. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the hunger problem that already existed. Before the pandemic, 1 in 5 people struggled with access to food.

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois has opened an additional round of quick-release funding to support community-based organizations supporting five focus areas – access to care, hunger, shelter and behavioral health, and COVID-19 health education and vaccine access.  This grant cycle will again offer 75 grants of $20,000 and is open to prior recipients of BCBSIL’s COVID-19 Community Collaboration funding. However prior grantees are not guaranteed a second award.Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois awarded $1.5 million to 75 organizations during the first round of the COVID-19 Community Collaboration Fund in May 2020.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation has granted more than $4 million to 95 nonprofits across the state working to meet the needs of communities in response to COVID-19 since mid-March.Efforts supported through Foundation grant funding include:
    • Providing food to kids, financially insecure families and seniors
    • Supporting healthcare needs, including securing critical supplies for providers, connecting individuals to care and mental health resources
    • Funding direct economic support , housing assistance and keeping families financially stable
    • Sustaining essential services disproportionately affected by stay-at-home orders, such as sober housing, services for sexual assault victims and a limited scope of education-related services
    • Supporting regional groups organizing disaster response in communities across Louisiana, and supporting nonprofits through community relief funds operated by local community foundations
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is providing an additional $400,000 in grants to nonprofits and regional funds across Massachusetts to support communities of color most impacted by COVID-19, address the ongoing food insecurity crisis and provide support to teachers and students to aid in the safe reopening of schools. These recent donations bring Blue Cross’ total value of community COVID-19 support to $10.6 million.$270,000 will be distributed as part of Blue Cross’ COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants.  This second round of grants is awarding $10,000 to 27 organizations serving communities of color most impacted by COVID-19. The first round of grants, distributed in April, provided $240,000 in funding to 24 community organizations supporting essential and front-line organizations addressing food access, basic needs, and support to first responders, health care and retail workers.

    Blue Cross is also contributing $125,000 to support teachers and students during school re-openings and remote learning. Funding will be awarded to the American Federation of Teachers and The Massachusetts Child, a charitable organization founded by Massachusetts Teachers Association members in 1996 to help students struggling with financial need. Through Blue Cross’ support, teachers will be able to access support to purchase supplies including personal protective equipment and technology to facilitate online learning as well as necessities for students in need like hygiene materials and warm winter clothing.

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation donated $300,000 to six community-based nonprofits to support permanent house initiatives that can help improve racial and economic health equity. Supportive housing has been linked with intensive case management and voluntary life-improving services such as health care and child welfare.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and Blue Plus donated $400,000 to six organizations to help with housing stability initiatives. Inadequate housing can contribute to health inequities and has been linked health problems such as chronic disease that can impact childhood development.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico has awarded nearly $350,000 in Healthy Kids, Healthy Families (HKHF) grants to 15 community-based organizations statewide for 2021. The organizations were chosen through a competitive grant application process.The HKHF grant program is designed to encourage health education, promote physical activity, prevent and manage disease, and support safe environments. The program works through investments and partnerships with nonprofit organizations that offer sustainable, measurable programs that improve the lives of New Mexicans.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is teaming up with the athletic departments at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and Duke University to deliver over 2,000 meals to those in need in the Triangle area.

    This collaboration is an extension of Blue Cross NC’s meal delivery efforts to address food security throughout North Carolina. With help from its partners, Blue Cross NC has delivered over 16,000 meals to the people who need them the most.

  • BlueCross BlueShield of North Dakota Caring Foundation will provide a limited number of one-year grants annually of up to $50,000 to North Dakota communities and organizations undertaking efforts to support health and community-based wellness and prevention. With the addition of these CaringforCommunities SPARK (Strengthening People, Access, Resources and Knowledge) Grants, the goal is to enhance collaborative efforts and community involvement that results in long-lasting change.

    As evidence continues to grow showing that where we live and what services and supports are available have a significant impact on our health, the Caring Foundation will be investing additional resources at the community level in 2021 to strengthen opportunities to build collaboratives that invest locally to enhance healthy lifestyles, address service gaps and promote health equities.

  • CareSource has announced $750,000 of funding to jump start permanent supportive housing programming in Franklin County to address the risks of COVID-19 spread in congregate settings including the local jail and homeless shelter system.

    The support will fund the FreshStart project to identify, engage and house up to 30 CareSource members with elevated mortality risk for COVID-19 due to chronic behavioral and physical health needs who have had multiple interactions with jails and are experiencing housing instability. The program seeks to reduce reentry into congregate settings that place individuals and communities at risk for contraction and spread of COVID-19. 

    CareSource is providing the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio with $1 million to help support shelter and housing services this winter. Housing insecurity is one of the primary factors that increases an individual’s risk of contracting COVID-19.

  • Centene is working with Samsung Electronics America to expand access to telehealth for individuals living in rural and underserved communities. The initiative will supply providers with Samsung Galaxy A10e smartphones to disseminate to patients who would not otherwise have the ability to receive their health care virtually. Additionally, some providers will receive Samsung Galaxy tablets to use to conduct telehealth visits.With this initiative, Centene and Samsung will deploy 13,000 Galaxy A10e smartphones, with 90 days of free wireless service, to approximately 200 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), other providers and community support organizations throughout Centene’s markets, with a particular focus on rural and underserved areas. The providers and organizations will then determine which of their patients need the devices and distribute them accordingly.

    Centene previously announced the creation of a Medicaid Telehealth Partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) to help FQHCs quickly ramp-up their capacity to provide telehealth solutions to meet the needs created by the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Health Alliance Plan donated $100,000 to Henry’s Groceries for Health to provide food and promote nutrition.  Henry’s Groceries, a collaboration between Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) and Gleaners Community Food Bank, is designed to mitigate food insecurity and improve health outcomes for vulnerable patients.
  • Kaiser Permanente has donated $25 million to support Enterprise Community Partners, a national affordable housing nonprofit. The funding will support up to 1,000 new permanent housing units for formerly homeless Californians.
  • L.A. Care Health Plan Through their jointly-operated Community Resource Centers, L.A. Care Health Plan and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan are rolling out a series of drive-thru and walk-up food pantry events across Los Angeles County in response to the growing food insecurity burdening nearly every community. The food distribution events, which will start February 20, 2021 and run throughout the year, are free and open to everyone. All safety guidelines recommended by public health officials will be followed.

    The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank reports an estimated 1 in 4 people in Los Angeles County lives with food insecurity – the disruption of food intake or eating patterns because of lack of money and other resources. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the hunger problem that already existed. Before the pandemic, 1 in 5 people struggled with access to food.

  • Molina Healthcare of Texas contributed $20,000 to the North Texas Food Bank to help replenish necessary food supplies for area residents experiencing high levels of unemployment or reduced income due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Priority Health has launched a new web presence that focuses on social determinants of health and health inequities. The new landing page, available to the general public, is meant to serve as a central hub for all content related to Priority Health’s efforts towards addressing SDOH.
    The landing page provides visitors with educational background information on SDOH, a recently published report from Priority Health highlighting their work and programs that address health inequities, and links to programs, news coverage and articles related to the topic.
  • Tufts Health Plan Foundation donated $900,000 in funding to 64 community organizations to help support efforts to address basic needs like food access, housing assistance, and other fundamental supports to help stay safe and healthy.
  • UCare is funding more than 20,000 meals for Minnesotans through a $132,000 donation to Second Harvest Heartland. UCare is also supporting winter markets that are large-scale distributions of produce, emergency food boxes, protein and dairy. The markets are held weekly throughout the Twin Cities metro area and in Greater Minnesota.
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