ACAP Joins AHIP, BCBSA in Advancing Vaccine Accessibility and Equity Initiative
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 28, 2021
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Jeff Van Ness, (202) 204-7515, firstname.lastname@example.org
ACAP JOINS AHIP, BCBSA IN ADVANCING VACCINE ACCESSIBILITY AND EQUITY INITIATIVE
Vaccine Community Connectors initiative to Expand Focus to vaccinate more Americans
WASHINGTON—Today, the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) announced it would join the Vaccine Community Connectors (VCC) initiative in partnership with America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA). AHIP and BCBSA launched the program in March to promote vaccine accessibility, education, and equity with a goal of vaccinating 2 million American seniors in underserved communities in one hundred days.
The VCC initiative seeks to identify factors preventing people from accessing the COVID-19 vaccine and working to remove those barriers by deploying targeted resources, such as assistance finding and making a vaccine appointment and coordinating transportation if necessary, or by providing education to reduce vaccine hesitancy.
The program focuses resources and outreach in socially vulnerable communities that face heightened barriers to vaccine access due to persistent inequities in health care. Program partners will work with federal, state, and local authorities to deliver vaccines to underserved communities and track progress to ensure that those who need vaccinations most are able to access them. Outreach will be tailored to meet the specific needs of each community.
The VCC initiative focused its first efforts on seniors in vulnerable communities. ACAP and its member Safety Net Health Plans will expand the program by directing its outreach to Medicaid enrollees, many of whom are members of the at-risk and underserved communities this program aims to reach.
“The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the inequities that disadvantage underserved communities, particularly among people who rely on Medicaid for health coverage. Safety Net Health Plans are committed to addressing these disparities in the short and the long term,” said ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray. “This program is the right thing to do, and it’s made great progress in a short time. We’re proud to do our part to help expand its reach.”
“We’re delighted that ACAP has joined our shared effort to defeat the COVID-19 crisis,” said Matt Eyles, AHIP president and CEO. “We’ve committed to break down the barriers between Americans and COVID-19 vaccines, and we are excited to have ACAP on board to share their expertise. Together, we can and will overcome the COVID-19 crisis.”
“The pandemic is not over and continues to highlight inequities in our communities, disproportionately hurting socially vulnerable populations. It will take all of us to end these disparities, which is why we’re pleased to have ACAP join us in our work to help vaccinate vulnerable Americans for COVID-19,” said Kim Keck, president and CEO of BCBSA. “We’re committed to continuing to work together to quickly and equitably bring life-saving vaccines to those who need them most.”
Learn more about the Vaccine Community Connectors pilot here.
ACAP represents 78 health plans, which collectively provide health coverage to more than 20 million people. Safety Net Health Plans serve their members through Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Marketplace and other publicly-sponsored health programs. For more information, visit www.communityplans.net.
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