Taking care of yourself is about much more than just managing your health conditions, visiting a doctor’s office, or picking up your prescriptions. It’s hard to stay healthy when your housing situation is unstable, you can’t get to your medical appointments, or you’re having trouble accessing wholesome and nutritious food.
These challenges are a reality for many of our Medicare Advantage members and members of our community. The good news is that there are many community-based organizations that can help these members access all kinds of services and support.
That’s why Independence Blue Cross (Independence), in collaboration with Signify Health (an independent company), has created the CommunityLink™ network. This network connects local and national community-based organizations (CBOs) with our Medicare Advantage members who might need their help with grocery delivery, handyman services, transportation, and so much more.
Signify Community Care Coordinators call our Medicare Advantage members to understand what challenges they experience in their daily lives. Then the care coordinators reach out to the organizations that best meet those members’ needs, and the organizations arrange to provide the appropriate services.
The Difference CommunityLink Makes
What does this service look like? How does it work? Here are a few real-life examples of how CommunityLink has benefitted our members in the last few months.
Mrs. Kandinsky* has a hard time keeping her home clean because of a debilitating disease. She has good days and bad days. Sometimes she’s unable to explain herself thoroughly, and needs someone who can understand her. CommunityLink connected her with Golden Years Concierge Services, who began providing cleaning assistance. Mrs. Kandinsky is very grateful to have them visiting her home. They have really helped her turn a corner, and she feels more in control of her life.
Mr. Wu suffers from advanced diabetes and has multiple social needs. His mother passed away recently and he has been struggling ever since. He reported concerns about his uncontrolled diabetes, and needed assistance applying for any of the benefits he was eligible for. A Signify Community Care Coordinator connected Mr. Wu with MANNA for nutrition education and counseling, and to Penn Asian Services (PASSi) for assistance applying for PACE, SNAP, and LIHEAP. He said, “Now I feel confident I’m headed in the right direction.”
Ms. Brown had been trying to get her homebound mother vaccinated against COVID-19 for months. A Signify Community Care Coordinator helped arrange an in-home vaccination, and Mrs. Brown has now received her first shot, easing her and her daughter’s concerns about the health risk posed by the coronavirus.
Mr. Rudolph needed assistance paying for his utilities and was several hundred dollars behind in his payments. The Signify Community Care Coordinator connected him with BenePhilly, which provides free help in applying for public benefits. The coordinator also gave Mr. Rudolph the encouragement to call PECO, PGW, and the water company to set up payment plans that works for him. He was very happy to receive this help and now feels less stressed about his financial situation.
It’s a Privilege Helping People
As one of the Independence associates who manages CommunityLink, I’m very moved by success stories like the ones above — and I hear them every day.
Life’s not always easy, and sometimes we go through periods where we both give and receive help. I feel lucky to live in Philadelphia, where we have amazing community-based organizations that have been serving our community and continue to help people from all backgrounds and neighborhoods. I am so happy I work for a company that cares enough to make that kind of assistance, and connections to local resources, available to our members.
Website last updated: 9/7/2021
Independence Blue Cross offers Medicare Advantage plans with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Independence Medicare Advantage plans depends on contract renewal.
Independence Blue Cross offers products through its subsidiaries Independence Hospital Indemnity Plan, Keystone Health Plan East and QCC Insurance Company — independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.*All members’ names have been changed to protect their privacy.