With Equity a Hot Topic, Blues Plans Target Health Disparities

Spurred in part by the harsh spotlight that the COVID-19 pandemic has shone on health equity issues, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) on April 20 unveiled a vast, ambitious initiative that aims to “change the trajectory of heath disparities and re-imagine a more equitable healthcare system.”

Industry experts say that now is the ideal time for such a project to kick off and that the BCBSA and its 35 member plans are well-positioned to take on such a challenge. To succeed, though, the Blues plans will need to build crucial trust among the populations they’re hoping to help, and they must act as the conduit for grassroots efforts that health insurers can’t handle on their own.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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