BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS EXPANDS ACCESS TO SERVICES AND CARE OPTIONS TO SUPPORT LGBTQIA+ MEMBERS

BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS EXPANDS ACCESS TO SERVICES AND CARE OPTIONS TO SUPPORT LGBTQIA+ MEMBERS

The state’s leading health plan, one of the first in the country, with a dedicated clinical team for gender-affirming care

BOSTON, June 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (“Blue Cross”) today announced expanded access to LGBTQIA+ support and resources for members, including a gender-affirming care program and a partnership with FOLX Health.

(PRNewsfoto/Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts) (PRNewsfoto/Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts)

“Navigating the personal, emotional and often confusing nature of the reproductive health and gender-affirming healthcare landscape can be challenging,” says Dr. Sandhya Rao, chief physician of the Blue Cross. “As demand for these services continues to grow, it is our job to ensure our members have access to high-quality, equitable care and the resources they need to feel supported.”

Blue Cross’ new support options include:

  • Gender-affirming care program: Designed to help members find the care and services that meet their needs during reproductive health and gender-affirming care milestones. Blue Cross is one of the first health plans in the country with an integrated, clinical team dedicated to gender-affirming care, providing personalized support and an advocacy program that guides members to the right care that meets their needs.
  • FOLX Health: Most Blue Cross members also now have access to FOLX Health, a virtual provider focused on LGBTQIA+ healthcare, offering a variety of services including gender-affirming care, primary care, mental health, fertility and diverse family building and more.

“Our data shows that 95% of our patients did not have an LGBTQIA+ competent provider before finding FOLX,” said Liana Douillet Guzmán, CEO of FOLX Health. “We are honored to partner with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts to expand access to expert care through FOLX and improve health and wellness outcomes for the LGBTQIA+ community.”

Additional services and tools
Blue Cross has long been a vocal ally for the LGBTQIA+ community and has been leading the way in supporting access to health care services that support their needs. Highlights include:

  • Providing robust coverage, including medically necessary gender affirmation procedures and generous fertility preservation and infertility services.
  • Blue Cross was the first health care plan in the state to cover facial reconstruction surgery, and the first health care plan in the state, and one of the few health care plans nationally, to cover vocal cord surgery and related therapy for transitioning members.
  • Ensure that all eligible members, including transgender and gender diverse members, have access to supportive, affirming mental health care that meets their unique needs, including counseling and psychotherapy. The Blue Cross Mental Health Resource Center is designed to help members better understand their mental health options and find doctors who are right for them.
  • Blue Cross recently partnered with Maven Clinic, which offers customized programs to support members through various health journeys, including diverse family building.
  • Blue Cross has received Boston Business Journal’s 2024 Business of Pride Corporate Ally award.

“Research shows that gender-affirming care can improve the physical and mental health and well-being of our members,” said Dr. Ashley Yeats, Blue Cross vice president of medical operations. “Our priority is to ensure that all of our members have the resources and support they need to figure out what care options are available and right for them.”

Blue Cross also partners with Fenway Health – a Boston-based healthcare, research, and advocacy organization – to improve the well-being of the LGBTQIA+ community, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), and other underserved communities to ensure equitable and convenient access to health care, support services, and education . Blue Cross donates on the occasion of Pride Month $1 to Fenway Health to support LGBTQIA+ healthcare for every Pride-themed Bluebike ride in June.

“Fenway advocates that all individuals have the right to high-quality, patient-centered care. The work to ensure that access to this care is safe and feasible for trans and gender diverse communities in Massachusetts is now clearer than ever before,” the spokesperson said Julie Thompson, medical director of trans medicine at Fenway Health. “BCBSMA has consistently played a leading role in elevating the voices and needs of trans and gender diverse communities and has consistently answered the call to create the supports and services these communities deserve.”

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (bluecrossma.org) is a community-based, not-for-profit, tax-paying health plan headquartered in Boston. We strive to stand up for everyone as if they were the only ones and guide our members to the exceptional health care they deserve – affordable, equitable and seamless. True to our promise, we are rated as one of the nation’s top health care plans for member satisfaction and quality. Join us on Facebook, TweetYouTube and LinkedIn.

SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts