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BLOG — Reinvesting in the Community: Because We Live Here, Too

Too often, the money consumers spend on their health care winds up in the pockets of stockholders, venture capitalists or a massive health conglomerate. But in communities with nonprofit regional health plans, that money stays at home where it can help fuel the local economy, support small businesses and be reinvested in resources like food and housing that keep community members healthy and safe.

These regional health plans don’t just serve communities — they’re a part of them. In fact, at the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP), our member organizations have been providing coverage and care to their friends, family and neighbors for an average of 44 years.

Reinvesting in health, wellbeing and equitable coverage and care is what they do.

ACHP member organizations have proven their commitment:

  • Geisinger Health Plan’s mobile dental lab visits Pennsylvania schools, community centers and pediatrician offices at no cost, utilizing its interpreting service for limited-English speakers and Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing individuals.
     
  • SecurityHealth Plan has partnered with school-based behavioral health program, b.e.s.t., to implement the screening tool in qualifying schools, enabling early intervention and prevention and helping build the emotional health of students. 189,007 screenings were completed across 41 Wisconsin school districts during the 2020-2021 school year.
     
  • UCare is tailoring efforts to reach diverse populations and improve outcomes by partnering with Stairstep to bring the COVID-19 vaccine to communities and barbershops across Minneapolis. In addition, the plan reaches neighborhoods with limited resources through its mobile dental clinic and grocery store on wheels.
     
  • PacificSource’s team of Meals on Wheels drivers have delivered meals to seniors in Oregon for over 20 years. In 2020, the PacificSource Foundation for Health Improvement granted over $3.5 million to regional health care safety net and community-based organizations for urgent pandemic and wildfire relief.
     
  • Martin’s Point Health Care’s employees have volunteered 9,000 hours to communities across Maine over the past five years, supported by the organization’s Volunteer Time Off program. AultCare Health Plans’ employees donated more than 1,400 volunteer hours to Ohio nonprofits in 2019.
     
  • In addition, ACHP plans’ foundations generously support the community, including the Carle Center for Philanthropy’s $35 million campaign to support a mobile health clinic, the Healthy Beginnings program for families and job readiness in Illinois — or Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation’s contribution of nearly $900,000 to Maine nonprofits to support food access, social and community services and emergency response during the pandemic.
     

Community health plans are leading a movement to make health care better, reinvesting in their communities because they know health happens at the local level.

Additional information on ACHP members’ community-based approach to improving health is available by listening to our Healthy Dialogue podcast.