Blue Plus Dedicates $400,000 to Support Housing Stability Initiatives – Medical Alley Association

Blue Plus Dedicates $400,000 to Support Housing Stability Initiatives

EAGAN, Minn., Dec. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) and Blue Plus (Blue Plus) today announced funding support for six organizations and their respective efforts to increase housing stability for Minnesotans in need. The Blue Plus funding support is designed to alleviate social barriers to health that contribute to health inequities.

“Stable housing has a significant influence on health and the ability to access needed care,” said Christine Reiten, vice president of Medicaid at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. “We developed the housing flex fund in response to feedback from public health officials and community organizations about what was needed at the local level to improve health.”

According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, poor quality and inadequate housing contributes to health problems such as chronic diseases and injuries and can have harmful effects on childhood development. While Minnesota has had a moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent during the COVID-19 public health emergency, those protections are temporary and point to the larger problem of insufficient affordable housing and high rates of cost-burdened Minnesotans who spend 30 percent or more of their income on housing.

The Blue Plus housing flex fund supports county- and community-led housing stability efforts. Funding distributions in 2020 include:

  • $100,000 to CommUNITY AMHI for housing assistance and landlord engagement programming in Benton, Sherburne, Stearns and Wright counties
  • $50,000 to Lutheran Social Services for housing assistance programming in Anoka and Ramsey counties
  • $25,000 to Northwest Community Action for inmate reintroduction programming in Roseau county
  • $50,000 to Sherburne County Health and Human Services for rental assistance and eviction protection programming
  • $100,000 to St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services for services and programming related to housing
  • $75,000 to Violence Intervention Program for transitional housing and landlord risk mitigation programming in northwestern Minnesota

Blue Cross is dedicated to transforming care, inspiring change and improving health. Nearly 80 percent of overall health stems from health inequities and social, behavioral and other non-clinical determinants, highlighting the importance of supporting the drivers of good health as an effective approach to prevent poor health.

The Blue Plus housing flex fund is in addition to Housing Stabilization Services that are available through Minnesota Medical Assistance benefits to help people with disabilities― including mental illness and substance use disorder― and seniors find and keep housing.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota’s first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. A nonprofit, taxable organization, Blue Cross is the largest health plan based in Minnesota, covering 2.9 million members in Minnesota and nationally through its health plans or plans administered by its affiliated companies. Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® of Minnesota and Blue Plus® are nonprofit independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago.

HMO Minnesota, d.b.a. Blue Plus, is an affiliate of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

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