Molina Healthcare Responds to Community Needs Amid a Pandemic
With the COVID-19 pandemic and heightened social unrest in 2020, health care has increasingly become a vital part of our communities’ lives. Molina Healthcare of Illinois and other providers play a pivotal role in meeting the needs of members, providers, and communities.
Recognizing The Need
The pandemic has exacerbated the impact of social determinants of health. Black and Latinx populations, people living in under-resourced communities, and lower-income individuals have been disproportionately impacted. Mandatory school closures have adversely affected nutrition and educational outcomes, and food insecurity has tripled among households with children. Massive layoffs have caused financial instability and limited access to quality health care services. Further, COVID-19 mitigation strategies have compounded mental health issues, grief, and bereavement in vulnerable populations at the intersections of age, income, employment, race, and ethnicity.
Molina recently established The MolinaCares Accord, an initiative created to improve the health and well-being of disadvantaged populations. The vision of MolinaCares is to change life and health for the better by identifying and reducing racial, social, and financial barriers to the access and delivery of quality health care.
Molina has also established employee resource groups (ERGs) throughout the enterprise. Molina CEO Joseph Zubretsky signed on to the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, the largest CEO-driven commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Additionally, Molina is fostering an equitable work environment with a Diversity and Inclusion strategist to further implement inclusion strategies, programs, and initiatives.
Even before the pandemic, Molina had been addressing social determinants of health including the health care system, educational access, economic stability, and food insecurity. In 2020, Molina Healthcare of Illinois partnered with community organizations to host a variety of events that followed social distancing guidelines. These included drive-through baby showers, flu clinics, winter coat drives, food drives, laundry service programs, and job fairs. Molina in Illinois hosted over 80 events across the state, distributed more than 40,000 pounds of food, 6000 hygiene kits, 3,000 COVID prep kits, and donated to over 52 community organizations.
Molina has supported our providers during this time by expanding health programs—including telemedicine—distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) and addressing the unique needs in rural areas. Behavioral health provider fee schedules were increased by 20 percent from March 9 -June 30, resulting in over $1 million in additional funds to affected behavioral providers, and much more.
Molina strives to remove barriers to care and address social determinants of health. Molina will continue to partner with providers and organizations to offer needed resources that help further support and serve communities most in need.
To learn more about how Molina is working to address the fundamental impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and heightened social unrest on vulnerable communities visit IAMHP’s Video Library.
For the latest news & insights on Illinois Medicaid visit www.IAMHP.net.
1. “Social Determinants of Health-Related Needs During COVID-19 Among Low-Income Households With Children” https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2020/20_0322.htm2. “COVID-19 and African Americans” https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/27647893. “Filling the school meal gap” https://www.chicagobusiness.com/crains-forum-education/filling-school-meal-gap4. “Food Insecurity Remains Elevated Across All 50 States” https://www.ipr.northwestern.edu/news/2020/schanzenbach-household-pulse-survey-analysis-report-2.html5. “Unintended Consequences of COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies” https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/health-equity/racial-ethnic-disparities/disparities-impact.html