A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Celia Manlove: Anthem moving needle on improved health outcomes, partnering with Welcome House

Ensuring good health for the residents of Kentucky requires more than just providing access to quality healthcare. It is well established that there are many social, behavioral and environmental factors that play a role in health outcomes such as eating nutritional food, living in safe housing, and having reliable transportation.

While there is now increased focus on these broader issues, Anthem ‘s Medicaid plan has a long history of helping our consumers’ overcome the barriers that can limit the ability to build healthy communities.

We understand that if someone is experiencing challenges with access to gainful employment, safe housing or proper nutrition, basic health care becomes less of a priority. Our response has been to look for innovative approaches that address these needs and create opportunities to improve access to care and health outcomes.

Anthem has also been able to influence and expand key partnerships that benefit our consumers in the communities we serve.

Recently, Anthem’s Medicaid plan had the privilege to partner with Welcome House to announce a $40,000 grant that will allow the non-profit to serve individuals between the ages of 18-24 in Northern Kentucky experiencing homelessness by providing housing subsidies, access to food and hygiene items, and additional wrap-around services focused on developing employment, training and life skills.

The grant from Anthem Medicaid has already allowed Welcome House to purchase a home in Covington where up to four young adults will live as they work to transition to permanent housing.

This partnership will empower these individuals to achieve economic independence by removing major barriers that lead to homelessness. This is just one example of the steps our health plan takes daily to help our consumers overcome obstacles that negatively impact their overall health and wellbeing.

As we look at healthcare holistically, we must continue to provide opportunities for education and employment, offering support to families and increasing the Medicaid consumer’s social support system to help them on their journey to independence. It is critical we also continue to ensure consumers have access to safe housing, fresh and nutritious food, as well as reliable transportation.

Anthem has a long-standing commitment to increasing access to care and making the healthcare experience simpler and more enjoyable for our consumers. We are excited about the opportunity to continue this important work that will ultimately help move the needle on improving health outcomes.

Celia Manlove is Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Kentucky Medicaid plan president.

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