Independence Blue Cross (Independence), the region’s leading health insurer, and Philadelphia-based United By Blue, a sustainable outdoor apparel and accessories brand, recently launched a new program that offers four weekly grocery deliveries at no cost to Independence Medicare Advantage members. Each delivery contains fresh, local, and organic groceries, homemade soups, and household supplies.
United By Blue, a local business which has served the Philadelphia community for over 10 years, traditionally focused on apparel and accessories, opened an online food marketplace in response to the public’s need for grocery and delivery options during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Some of our Medicare members need dietary support and help with daily activities even in the best of times. This need has become even more imperative during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Independence medical director Heidi Syropoulos, M.D., a geriatrician. “We’re really excited about the program and appreciative to United By Blue for working with us to get our at-risk members the groceries they need safely and reliably.”
The program is targeting 7,700 Medicare Advantage members who are enrolled in Independence’s Keystone 65 HMO plans and have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and at least one of the following diagnosis: hemoglobin A1c level greater than 9, asthma, hypertension, congestive heart failure, end-stage renal disease, or ischemic heart disease.
“We are so proud to partner with Independence Blue Cross and admire their commitment to their members. Community has always been at the core of what United By Blue stands for and this program is a manifestation of our values,” said United By Blue co-founder and brand director Mike Cangi. “We believe that it is not enough for a business to simply exist in a community, but instead it is our responsibility to be part of the community. This program allows us to reach those in our hometown that need us the most right now by bringing them fresh, local, and organic groceries and paper goods.”
Each delivery provides organic dairy, meat, eggs, fruits, vegetables, breads, pastries, soups, toilet paper, and paper towels. There is also one cloth face mask included in each member’s first delivery. Eligible members are able to opt-in to the program using a unique code provided to them by Independence.