Contactless grocery delivery and virtual offerings designed to keep seniors safe and healthy at home
PROVIDENCE, RI – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) is helping older Rhode Islanders stay safe and healthy this holiday season with weekly grocery delivery. This program comes at no cost to certain high-risk Medicare Advantage members. In addition, Blue Cross is sending every individual Medicare Advantage member a fitness kit to make it easier to exercise at home.
“We recognize how challenging this year has been, especially for older Rhode Islanders,” said Corey McCarty, BCBSRI consumer segment vice president. “Offering no-cost grocery delivery and ways to stay healthy and well at home gives our Medicare Advantage members one less thing to worry about, and allows them to stay well in the comfort and safety of their homes.”
More than 1,800 Medicare Advantage members who have conditions that put them at higher risk for COVID-19 are receiving weekly contactless grocery deliveries during the months of December and January. Whenever possible, groceries, which include milk, eggs, fruit, vegetables, cheese, pasta, bread, toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer and other essentials, are being sourced from local farms and vendors in an effort to help support Rhode Island’s small business community. Local vendors participating in BCBSRI’s grocery delivery program include New Vermont Creamery in Providence, Rochs Fresh Foods and Produce with locations in West Greenwich and Narragansett and Superior Bakery in Cranston. Other local businesses supporting the delivery include Christy’s Car & Truck Rental in Johnston, Pillottes Portable Refrigeration in Swansea, Mass., SaniTides in Providence, Absolute Fun Party Rentals in Warwick and Bori Graphics in Warwick.
To facilitate the grocery deliveries, BCBSRI partnered with West Warwick-based Millonzi Fine Catering whose staff includes several individuals who were recently laid off or furloughed as a result of COVID-19, as well as newly hired staff to support this effort.
“BCBSRI’s grocery delivery program is truly a testament to the power of local and to the power of Rhode Islanders serving other Rhode Islanders during times of need,” McCarty added. “Without the help, creativity and willingness of these vendors to collaborate, we never could have made this idea a reality.”
Along with their groceries, members will receive helpful information about their Medicare Advantage plans to make sure they’re taking advantage of all of their Blue Cross benefits, including $0 Doctors Online telehealth benefit and numerous other $0 features like transportation, labs and X-rays, and primary care provider visits.
In sending fitness kits to Medicare Advantage members, Blue Cross wants to make it easy for members to take advantage of expanded virtual fitness programming. Classes that were once available in person at Your Blue Store℠ will be offered twice a day, five days a week. To learn more about the virtual fitness class schedule, members can visit www.facebook.com/bcbsri.