Elevance Health Addresses Healthcare’s Digital Divide by Increasing Access to High-Quality Smartphones and Health-Related Digital Services

Elevance Health announced at the Consumer Electronics Show 2024 that it will launch a first-of-its-kind program that will offer high-quality smartphones with unlimited data, talk, and texting service at no cost to eligible individuals enrolled in some of its affiliated Medicaid health plans. These devices will be preloaded with a customized experience and give individuals access to digital and virtual healthcare tools that they might otherwise not have had. 

“Increased availability of digital technologies, such as a smartphone, as well as fast, reliable internet is critical to supporting a person’s health journey,” said Omid Toloui, Vice President, Innovation, at Elevance Health. “We believe the digital tools and the custom, curated experience offered through this program can help improve health, make healthcare more affordable, and serve people more equitably.”

This effort is a result of a collaboration between Elevance Health and Verizon, together with Samsung, AT&T, and T-Mobile. It is supported by funding from the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Elevance Health’s program is different from other ACP benefits because of its high-quality offerings, customization, and healthcare focus.

Nearly one in four U.S. adults with household incomes below $30,000 a year do not own a smartphone, and 43% do not have home broadband internet services. Among these, half report the high cost of connectivity as the reason for such unavailability. This program is designed to help close the gap between individuals who have access to digital tools and those who do not, and offer easy-to-access benefits digitally as part of their Medicaid plan.

The provided smartphones will serve as a connection point for individuals to reach their Medicaid health plan care team, who can help address their whole-health needs. Program participants will have access to complementary educational materials on how to use and navigate the smartphone as well as a dedicated customer service call center for support, if needed.

“The lack of sufficient internet connectivity and technology access remains a significant barrier for many – increasing health inequities,” said Kurt Small, President of Elevance Health’s Medicaid business. “This program aims to directly address this challenge and helps improve the health of the people we serve.”

The program will launch in multiple states in 2024, with the ambitious goal of reaching hundreds of thousands of members within Elevance Health’s affiliated Medicaid plans.

To check eligibility and participate in the program, if appropriate:  

1.      Individuals will work with their Elevance Health affiliated Medicaid health plan to check their eligibility for financial support through the ACP.

2.      Eligible individuals will then work with their Medicaid health plan to participate in the program.

3.      Once this program has been launched in respective states, Medicaid members can contact member services using the number listed on the back of their insurance card to learn more.

About Elevance Health, Inc.

Elevance Health is a lifetime, trusted health partner fueled by its purpose to improve the health of humanity. The company supports consumers, families, and communities across the entire care journey – connecting them to the care, support, and resources they need to lead healthier lives. Elevance Health’s companies serve approximately 117 million people through a diverse portfolio of industry-leading medical, digital, pharmacy, behavioral, clinical, and complex care solutions. 

Source link:https://www.elevancehealth.com/