Blue Cross supports seniors during COVID-19 pandemic

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan announced it is helping senior citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing access to food and health care.

“Blue Cross is proactively reaching out to seniors to help identify and meet their needs,” said Krischa Winright, executive vice president of Senior Health Services at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “As we’re all staying home to stay safe, that means older adults may not receive the in-home care management or friendly visitors they’re used to. Our seniors need us now more than ever.”

Blue Cross’ work initiatives include:

  • Expanding meal delivery programs to seniors in need.
  • Providing high-risk members in areas of dense COVID-19 community-level spread with groceries from businesses that are offering delivery services.
  • Planning to deliver care packages to more than 700,000 Michigan seniors with Blue Cross medical plans, which may include disposable thermometers and reusable face coverings.
  • Contacting members who are under care management support and may be socially isolated to coordinate their care and identify gaps, including medication, food assistance, financial resources and clinical care.
  • Connecting members to information on COVID-19, telehealth and mental health services and providing tools and advice for managing stress, isolation and loneliness.

These expanded services are possible through the work Blue Cross already does with seniors through Blue Cross Coordinated Care, a program that connects senior members with a team that helps them get the right care when needed.

The care management program assigns a registered nurse to work directly with senior members and their families to coordinate the best care to meet seniors’ specific needs. The program is completely confidential and available at no cost.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network have enacted several measures to increase the safety and convenience of accessing health care to all members during the pandemic.

For Medicare Advantage members, these include free COVID-19 diagnostic lab testing and treatment when consistent with CDC guidelines; offering telehealth care at no cost through June 30 for members with existing benefits; mental health online visits; a free 24-hour nurse line; and waived refill limits for 30-day and 90-day prescription maintenance medications.

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