Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicaid provides COVID-19 test kits for Kentuckians experiencing homelessness

By Gian Prabhudas, Building Kentucky

David Shadd, Director of Programs at Hope Center in Lexington, poses with COVID-19 test kits. Each box donated includes 25 tests.

At a time when more than 4,000 people in the Commonwealth will experience homelessness on any given day, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicaid is joining forces with 26 social services organizations across the state to distribute COVID-19 test kits to ensure that our neighbors experiencing homelessness have the necessary testing available to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in these underserved communities.

In addition, the Anthem-backed initiative aims to improve public health outcomes for all Kentuckians.

“The pandemic has exacerbated the inequalities and challenges long faced by our most vulnerable neighbors, including the facilities and professionals they rely on for assistance,” said Leon Lamoreaux, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicaid President in Kentucky. “Anthem is committed to improving the health and well-being of communities, close gaps in care and increase health equity across the Bluegrass, and we are proud to partner with a numerous nonprofits to help fight the spread of COVID-19 and deliver on that pledge for Kentuckians experiencing homelessness.”

Many unhoused Kentuckians are living with pre-existing or undiagnosed health conditions that make them even more susceptible to contracting COVID-19, hospitalization, and death. In fact, the Homelessness Research Institute cites medical history, along with the reduced ability to socially distance and properly sanitize, as contributing factors to increased rates of COVID-19 transmission and mortality among individuals experiencing homelessness.

All total, Anthem will distribute 5,000 test kits across the Commonwealth. In addition to COVID-19 testing supplies, Anthem has vaccinated nearly 50,000 Kentuckians, donated 20,000 personal hand sanitizers and invested almost $600,000 since the beginning of the pandemic to fight the spread of COVID-19.

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