Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has announced that it will join other Blue Cross companies across the country and members of America’s Health Insurance Plans to help vaccinate two million seniors living in vulnerable communities.
The Vaccine Community Connectors initiative will initially focus on those 65 and older and expand as the COVID-19 vaccine supply becomes more widely available.
“This is an extension of our commitment to doing everything we can to help end this pandemic,” said Andrew Dreyfus, president and CEO of Blue Cross. “We want to help increase vaccination rates among our members as quickly and equitably as possible to help achieve herd immunity.”
“Improving health equity means setting important goals, removing barriers to better care, and meeting people where they are,” said Tonya Adams, national spokesperson for the Vaccine Community Connectors program and chief customer experience officer at Regence BlueCross BlueShield. “This is a seminal moment in America. We look forward to working with all partners across the public and private sectors to provide millions of seniors with an equal opportunity for protection from this virus.”
As part of the initiative, Blue Cross and other participating insurers will focus on their respective members and the communities they serve to identify those who are vulnerable to COVID-19 and who live in areas where there is an inequity in vaccination rates. Blue Cross will use its member data and advanced analytics to help identify the most vulnerable communities and members.
As vaccine supplies expand, Blue Cross will contact members who are eligible for vaccination through multiple channels to alert them of their eligibility, answer questions about registration and scheduling, help address any barriers to vaccination, send reminders if a second shot is required, and track progress to ensure that the vaccines are getting to those most in need.
The announcement of Blue Cross’ participation in the initiative follows a February announcement that the insurer will contribute $1 million to fund free rides to and from COVID-19 vaccination sites across Massachusetts. The ride program will launch this month in coordination with the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers.
Blue Cross and its foundation have invested approximately $12 million in the community during the COVID-19 crisis through financial contributions, pro bono, and in-kind contributions.