HCSC established a Community Collaborative Grant Fund to support communities, deploying $8 million across its health plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas to help communities remain safe and healthy during this global crisis. The grants focus on hunger relief, child care, healthcare provider support, senior care and access to care. These reflect the needs of those most impacted by COVID-19. In addition, each state’s Plan is donating goods, volunteer hours and other in-kind support across their markets.

OVERVIEW OF RESPONSE EFFORTS

  • BCBS Plans in Illinois and Texas will each receive $2 million to allocate to in partnership with community-based organizations and the plans in Montana, New Mexico and Oklahoma will each receive $1 million to support community organizations. 
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield companies provide grants to address the Five Pillars: Hunger, Child Care, Provider Support, Senior Care and Access to Care. These reflect the needs of those most impacted by COVID-19.
  • HCSC supports their clinical employees’ volunteerism at hospitals and other coronavirus sites of care. 

Grant Funding by State 

Illinois

  • Donated $1 million to Governor Pritzker’s Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund. Maurice Smith, president of Health Care Service Corporation, joined the Fund’s Steering Committee. 
  • Donated $500,000 to Chicago’s COVID-19 Response Fund.
  • Opened a $1.5 million funding program that is supporting 75 community-based organizations with missions focused on access to health care, hunger and shelter. The BCBSIL COVID-19 Community Collaboration Fund will release $20,000 grants to these organizations around the state. The program is designed to distribute the funds quickly to respond to the current health crisis.

Montana

  • Will contribute $1 million to support community action and health care access across the state in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes delivering $400,000 to organizations that provide community-based social services, $300,000 to groups that bolster health care providers and access to care, $100,000 to organizations that address food insecurity, $100,000 to non-profits that support child care, and $100,000 to the Montana Area Agencies on Aging ($10,000 to each of the 10 Area Agencies). 

New Mexico 

  • Will contribute $1 million to support community action and health care access across the state in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that support the Five Pillars. This includes donating $500,000 to the All Together NM Fund, an organization that supports the immediate and long-term needs of New Mexico communities, businesses and employees facing income insecurity, $250,000 to the Roadrunner Food Back to support food distribution and mobile food pantries for the general population and senior centers throughout the state, and $250,000 to the United Way of Central New Mexico to support agencies throughout the state that focus on areas such as child and senior care, health care access, and homelessness and housing.   

Oklahoma

  • Will focus its $1 million COVID-19 Community Collaborative Grant Funding toward access to care and provider support in Oklahoma. A portion of the $1 million was given to four organizations covering Oklahomans across the state in metro and rural areas, including Community Service Council of Tulsa and Heartline OKC, who operate the 2-1-1 statewide COVID-19 hotline, and the Tulsa Area United Way and United Way of Central Oklahoma for their statewide COVID-19 response funds. Additional discussions are taking place regarding ways to provide direct support to doctors, nurses and health care professionals working on the frontlines of COVID-19 response.

Texas 

  • Will make a $1 million donation to the TX Restaurant Relief Fund, an initiative of the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation (TRAEF), a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Funds will be used to support restaurants across the State of Texas, and their employees, remain in business, and provide meals to COVID-19 first responders. 
  • Will donate $1 million to the Communities Foundation of Texas, which administers grants to the 33 total community foundation affiliates across the state. This will include support for purchasing personal protective equipment, sanitizer, critical cleaning, and other urgent supplies for health care providers, first responders and other organizations critical to protect the public health child care for first responders, health care and essential workers 

Additional Actions by State

Illinois

  • Purchasing and donating 150,000 KN95 face masks to the state of Illinois through the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) to help provide better protection to health care workers in Illinois. BCBSIL worked in collaboration with our labor clients and the Teamsters Joint Council 25 of Chicago to source and provide the masks.

Montana

  • BCBSMT launched the TytoCare pilot with St. Peter’s Health in Helena to increase the use of telemedicine in a rural state where it's not always easy to get to a doctor. The program uses devices from a company called TytoCare to first set up a virtual clinic at the insurer's headquarters in town and then send hand-held medical devices home with employees of both the hospital and insurance company to test a tele-medicine approach to care.
  • BCBSMT is donating $10,000 the Montana Chamber of Commerce, who will use that money to directly support Montana manufacturers producing 3D printed face shields for front line personnel fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in Montana. The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center (MMEC) at Montana State University is also assisting with the project by collaborating with the manufactures.
  • BCBSMT donated 250 emergency hygiene kits to the Helena-based YWCA and homeless shelter God’s Love.

New Mexico

  • BCBSNM donated 2,000 reusable bags to Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) for food distribution to needed locations throughout Bernalillo County.
  • BCBSNM donated 50 BCBSNM comfort kits to APS for distribution to families in need. The kits include soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, children and adult coloring books, game boxes, and Blue Bear stuffed animals, among other items.
  • BCBSNM donated 2,500 reusable bags to APS for student activity packs. This included 1,000 Blue Bear activity/coloring books.
  • BCBSNM employees continue to volunteer for Hellfighters Soul Snatchers Unit to provide food and hygiene supplies for people experiencing homelessness.
  • BCBSNM donated 100 hygiene kits to vulnerable seniors through the City of Albuquerque. Kits included wash cloths, soap, shampoo, conditioner, combs, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
  • BCBSNM’s Care Van® program is working with CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe. The hospital will use a Care Van for their staff to prepare and store supplies as they conduct drive-through testing for COVID-19. No screenings and no patients will be in the Care Van.
  • Julia Platero, a community outreach specialist and tribal liaison, is on call for Navajo translation with customer service. She has volunteered to work with Customer Service to assist with translation.
  • BCBSNM continues to provide food through our mobile food pantries to 9 APS schools and 2 senior centers through Roadrunner Food Bank (RRFB). RRFB is distributing boxes of food through APS instead of having families pick up the food. 

Texas

  • Community Investments: Reinvesting nearly $100,000 back into the community to support vulnerable populations that were previously used for sponsored events. 
  • Care Vans: Repurposing Care Vans across the state to support COVID-19 Some vans are being used to educate the community on the importance of social distancing; others will transport hand sanitizer to first responders, and still others will redistribute personal protective equipment to medical professionals.
  • Partner with National Kidney Foundation: In the Houston area, BCBSTX is partnering with the National Kidney Foundation, renal nutritionists, social workers and dialysis clinics to deliver dialysis patients healthy food options and toiletries.
  • Partnering with Opportunity Center for the Homelessness to use a Care Van to pick up food for their pantry. They will be able to secure more food and to deliver it vulnerable families every week. BCBSTX also will be covering the cost of the fuel for the van.

 

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of 36 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies.