In an effort to help address the medical, social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Newark-based Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey on Monday said it donated $2 million to The New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, the response and support organization established by New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy.
This contribution follows on the heels of Horizon’s $2.5 million purchase of 500,000 N95 masks and 81,000 face shields for donation to the state’s coordinated response effort.
“We have quickly marshaled the resources of so many caring residents, corporations and not-for-profits to provide much-needed ‘boots on the ground’ services across our state,” said Murphy, who serves as chairperson of the NJ Pandemic Relief Fund. “We are incredibly grateful for this generous grant from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey that will make a significant impact in addressing the urgent needs of our community, both now and in the weeks and months ahead as we continue fighting this pandemic.”
Kevin Conlin, Horizon BCBSNJ’s executive chairman of the board, said that the COVID-19 pandemic is producing extraordinary challenges for New Jersey’s families, employers and the thousands of social service organizations that support people in need across the state.
Horizon BCBSNJ recently announced a number of changes to its coverage policies to ensure members have access to the care they need amid COVID-19:
- Coverage without cost for in-network diagnosis, testing and treatment of the disease
- Expanded access to telemedicine and eliminating out-of-pocket costs for telemedicine from an in-network provider
- Increased access to prescription medications, waived early medication refill limits on 30-day prescriptions for maintenance medications, and provided formulary flexibility in the event of shortages or access issues.
“The Pandemic Relief Fund is playing a critical role in helping New Jersey get through the pandemic by directing money and other resources to those with the greatest and most urgent needs,” said Gary St. Hilaire, Horizon BCBSNJ’s president and chief executive officer. “New Jerseyans have come to rely on Horizon to be there when they need us most, and it is in that spirit that we make this donation.”
Including this donation, Horizon said it has contributed $4.35 million for protective equipment for health care workers, food and social services in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Horizon BCBSNJ and its philanthropic arm, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, have contributed more than $80 million to New Jersey’s community organizations and causes since 2004.