Collaboration will bring two million COVID-19 vaccines to at-risk seniors across the United States in next 100 days
Independence Blue Cross (Independence) joins the White House, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) in a comprehensive effort to vaccinate two million at-risk seniors age 65 and over in underserved and vulnerable communities over the next 100 days. This effort, called the Vaccine Community Connector, builds upon Independence’s ongoing commitment to promote health equity in the Greater Philadelphia community and beyond.
“At Independence, our dedication to equitable, whole-person health starts with addressing the needs of the most underserved and at-risk members of the community,” said Independence President and CEO Gregory E. Deavens.
“We firmly believe that all Americans deserve equal access to health care, and by helping to vaccinate the most vulnerable seniors – who we know face higher risks associated with COVID-19 – we will be one step closer to overcoming this global health crisis. We are proud to partner with our industry peers and encourage all health insurance providers to join us in this life-saving commitment,” Deavens continued.
As vaccine supplies expand and registrations are made available, Independence and other participating health insurance providers will identify and coordinate with senior members who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 in areas where vaccination rates are most inequitable. Insurers will facilitate appointment scheduling, answer vaccination questions, offer reminders about second doses and help eligible seniors overcome barriers to getting vaccinated. Further, with partners in local communities, insurers will educate members on the safety, efficacy and value of COVID-19 vaccines, and work closely with federal, state and local leaders, as well as pharmacy and other vaccination partners, to deliver vaccines to underserved communities and track progress.
“It’s important to remember that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and remain our best option for stopping the spread of this virus,” said Dr. Richard L. Snyder, executive vice president of Facilitated Health Networks and chief medical officer for Independence.
“We and other participating insurers have long been collaborating with federal, state and local leaders to plan for swift and equitable vaccine distribution and look forward to helping combat challenges that may be limiting access to the vaccine for at-risk seniors,” Dr. Snyder continued.
Participating health insurance providers will use their vast data, analytics and capabilities, in conjunction with government resources such as the Social Vulnerability Index (SVI), to identify the 25 percent most vulnerable communities. The SVI is used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to analyze 15 social factors across socioeconomic status, household composition and disability, minority status and language, housing type and transportation.