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Increasing access to quality, affordable health care is why we’re in business, and we support sustainable efforts to improve health equity and health outcomes across Texas.

 

Bridging Gaps in Care

As the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted long-standing health disparities, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) broadened its efforts to address social determinants of health.

Thirty-eight organizations received microgrants averaging $15,000 to support work expanding access to important care and resources. For example, grant recipient CitySquare and its community health team — a community health nurse, social supports program manager and community health worker — provided community outreach, education, resources and social support for South Dallas residents.

Another grant recipient, Mercy Clinic Ministries of Laredo and its Mercy Clinic, used its Specialty and Surgical Assistance program to financially assist patients in need of advanced care.

Two health care providers together at vaccination event

To improve vaccination rates, BCBSTX and the Texas Department of State Health worked together to more accurately determine which members are behind on immunizations for vaccine-preventable diseases, including COVID-19. The data-sharing effort allowed BCSBTX to reach out to members with immunization gaps to provide vaccine education and help them find providers to get caught up.

Health care worker administers vaccine at drive-thru vaccination event

 

Bringing Care to Communities

The Caring Foundation of Texas and its Care Van® program, supported by BCBSTX, collaborates with community partners to bring  childhood immunizations, vision and dental screenings and health education to communities across the state. 

In 2021, the program’s 11 vans served more than 20,425 Texans and provided about 21,060 immunizations, including 9,464 COVID-19 vaccinations, and 38,284 other preventive health services.

The Care Van program collaborated with community health clinics and school districts to help protect high-risk residents against COVID-19 when the vaccines became available.

“Our partnership with the Caring Foundation and the Care Van has made a big difference,” says Dr. Eric Baggerman, chief executive officer of Amistad Community Health Center in Corpus Christi. “Our outreach has improved and we’re getting to people who need our services. That’s what this partnership has really helped us do.”

Pregnant mother sits with her daughter

Pursuing Health Equity

Responding to the state's high maternal mortality rate, BCBSTX leaders advocated for extension of postpartum Medicaid coverage, allowing Texas mothers with Medicaid to keep their health coverage for six months after giving birth, instead of just two months.

We also supported the March of Dimes’ efforts to end cycles of discrimination experienced by women of color in maternal and infant health care settings. The organization’s implicit bias training is helping providers confront institutionalized racism in the health care system.

 

Helping Texans Get Coverage

Our community outreach specialists helped expand access to health care coverage during a special enrollment period triggered by the pandemic and during the annual open enrollment period.

Team members helped Texans navigate their options in English and Spanish by phone, virtually and at in-person events.

BCBSTX continued to offer marketplace plan options in every Texas county and expanded Medicare Advantage offerings to 58 new counties. This expansion provided new coverage options to more than 542,000 additional Medicare-eligible Texans, particularly in rural and underserved areas.

165,200 network providers

6.8 million members

59,300 immunizations and other health services delivered with 11 Care Vans

Network providers and members as of 12/31/2021

 

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