Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has committed millions in financial support and pro bono and in-kind support to promote public health and to COVID-19 relief efforts.
"In addition to ensuring that our members can get the care they need,” said Andrew Dreyfus, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, “we're also focused on making sure the public has access to accurate and timely COVID-19 information and that our not-for-profit partners have the needed support to continue their important work during this challenging time."
OVERVIEW OF RESPONSE EFFORTS
Supporting Public Health
- BCBS Massachusetts redeployed more than 100 employees as contact tracers for the Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative to help track new cases and prevent the spread of the virus.
- Blue Cross registered nurses cared for patients at the Boston Hope field hospital, established to help area hospitals cope with the influx of cases.
- The health plan also redeployed some of its cafeteria employees to create 1,000 pre-made meals per day to share with not-for-profits that serve those in need of food in Boston and surrounding cities and towns.
- BCBS Massachusetts provided support for Health Care For All’s Health Coverage HelpLine to increase staffing and language capacity, making it possible to provide vital assistance to non-English speakers statewide, particularly for communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
- The health plan, recognizing the growing blood shortage, partnered with the American Red Cross to host public blood drives at their offices.
- In addition, the health plan partnered with MassINC to conduct a three-week tracking poll measuring Massachusetts residents’ levels of understanding and compliance with public health measures.
- BCBS Massachusetts partnered with The Boston Globe to make its COVID-19 resource center free to the public and producing original news reporting on what readers need to know about COVID-19 and other health issues via Blue Cross' news service, Coverage.
In addition to promoting public health efforts, BCBS Massachusetts supported nonprofits and immediate relief efforts in the following ways:
- Contributed $460,000 in support to regional COVID-19 Funds, including $100,000 to the state’s Massachusetts COVID-19 Response Fund.
- Contributed $550,000 in rapid response grants to not-for-profits providing essential aid addressing access to food, basic needs and critical support for first responders, health care and retail workers.
- Contributed $50,000 to organizations with whom Blue Cross had to cancel volunteer projects.
- Lifted funding restrictions on committed funds and honored all financial support for community events cancelled to give not-for-profits the flexibility to address critical challenges.
- Expedited unrestricted cash to help nonprofits meet operational challenges during the crisis.
BCBS Massachusetts also mobilized employees in significant ways:
- Launched a hub for virtual volunteer initiatives for employees and their family members including remote skills-based volunteering, college mentoring with Strive, warm wish notes with Cradles to Crayons, virtual storytelling with Message of Hope, as well as creating and donating PPE and letter writing for seniors in assisted care facilities, deployed troops, first responders and healthcare workers.
- To facilitate employee giving, established an online giving platform that enables employees to donate directly to any Massachusetts-based not-for-profit affected by COVID-19. Employees donated nearly $640,000. With the company match, the overall campaign total exceeded $1.2 million.
- In recognition of Global Volunteer Month, contributed $70,000 to support COVID-19 response efforts in honor of the 1,500 employees who volunteered last year.
- In addition to the 1,640 N95 masks donated to Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program, donated 3,000 Blue Cross employee-made masks to eight area hospitals.
- Developing an employee assistance program to assist employees financially impacted by COVID-19 and future qualified disasters and/or emergency hardship.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.