WellCare, Shipt Offer Free Grocery Delivery to Seniors
WellCare, a wholly owned subsidiary of multinational health care enterprise Centene Corp., has struck up a partnership with same-day delivery service Shipt to give Medicare Advantage members safe and convenient access groceries and everyday essentials during 2020. WellCare provides government-sponsored managed care services to families, children, seniors and individuals with complex medical needs, primarily via Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug olans.
The partnership is part of WellCare’s ongoing commitment to overcome such non-medical obstacles to health care as food insecurity or transportation assistance, all of which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the current situation, WellCare is providing low-income and special-needs plan members in select WellCare, WellCare TexanPlus and ’Ohana Medicare Advantage plans with free, monthly Shipt memberships for the rest of the year. Members can now have groceries and staple items delivered from various retailers directly to their homes through a Shipt account. Subject to availability, the benefit is being offered to 200,000-plus members in 23 states.
“The effects of the pandemic are far-reaching, extending beyond medical care and affecting access to food, medicine, transportation and more,” noted Michael Polen, SVP and CEO of Medicare solutions at Tampa, Florida-based Centene. “We look forward to offering this new benefit as one more way to simplify access to everyday essentials, ensure continuity of care, and help our members stay safe and healthy during this challenging time.”
“We’re proud to partner with WellCare to fuse their commitment to meeting the health needs of vulnerable populations and our expertise in delivering groceries and essentials to those who need them,” said Rina Hurst, chief business strategy officer at Birmingham, Alabama-based Shipt, which is available to more than 80% of U.S. households in 5,000 cities. “Especially in these challenging times, Shipt seeks to simplify lives and spark connections. We believe this first-of-its-kind partnership accomplishes just that while helping thousands of members get what they need quickly and safely.”
To meet consumer needs during the pandemic, Shipt has increased support staff, added more shoppers to help with high demand, and is offering financial assistance and personal protective equipment to its shoppers.
Across the country, various entities have joined forces to make e-commerce more accessible to the elderly and others at risk of contracting the coronavirus, including 24 Hour Home Care, a nonmedical home care provider with clients throughout California, Arizona and Texas, which in April teamed with Grubhub to connect isolated seniors with on-demand food delivery services through a program, GrubWith24.
Shipt is an independently operated, wholly owned subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Target Corp., which is No. 7 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.