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Philadelphia, PA, May 27, 2020 – Benefits Data Trust (BDT) and Aetna Better Health of Pennsylvania (ABH-PA) announced a partnership that will help 91,000 members maintain critical health care coverage and connect them with benefits that help cover the cost of food, housing, and childcare.
This collaboration between a major Medicaid managed care plan and a national non-profit is the first of its kind in both its scale and approach to addressing the social determinants of health. BDT and ABH will tackle two key health drivers by increasing access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other benefits, and helping members maintain affordable health care coverage by assisting with any required Medicaid recertification processes.
Research has demonstrated that Medicaid members who maintain their insurance and participate in public benefit programs such as SNAP have better health. Participation in SNAP decreases care utilization and has been shown to save $1,400 in health care costs annually per adult.1
However, many experience lapses in their coverage; the resulting “churn” can lead to adverse health outcomes and increase administrative costs for both the state and managed care organizations. Furthermore, members who are eligible for SNAP and other programs are often not accessing these benefits. These programs will become increasingly vital lifelines to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
”Helping Pennsylvanians gain access to available benefits and state assistance programs is a critical part of staying healthy,” says Jason Rottman, CEO of ABH-PA. “Through our work with Benefits Data Trust we can provide members with access to critical health care and important programs during the COVID-19 outbreak and will continue to provide this support long after the pandemic is behind us.”
BDT, which has screened more than one million households for benefits and secured over $7 billion in benefits and services, will use targeted SMS messaging to assist ABH-PA members approaching their plan recertification deadline. BDT will also provide comprehensive benefit application assistance to members who are likely eligible for and not enrolled in SNAP and other programs, such as low-income energy assistance and housing affordability benefits.
“This initiative shows that a national managed care organization and a non-profit can deploy a true population-level social intervention using data, technology and effective, person-centered assistance,” said Trooper Sanders, CEO of BDT. “Staying enrolled in health coverage and accessing key benefits can make a huge difference in someone’s overall well-being and significantly reduce the cost of care, furthering our collective pursuit of health equity.”
Benefits Data Trust (BDT) is a national nonprofit that helps people live healthier, more independent lives by creating smarter ways to access essential benefits and services. Each year, BDT helps tens of thousands of people receive critical supports using data, technology, targeted outreach, and policy change. Since inception in 2005, BDT has screened more than one million households and secured over $7 billion in benefits and services. BDT employs more than 180 people and provides enrollment assistance to individuals in six states and policy assistance to states nationwide. For more information, visit bdtrust.org and follow us on Twitter @BeneDataTrust.
Aetna Better Health of Pennsylvania is a subsidiary of Aetna Medicaid Administrators LLC (Aetna Medicaid), a CVS Health Business. Since 2010, Aetna Better Health of Pennsylvania has served the most vulnerable members of the Commonwealth. Aetna Better Health of Pennsylvania is bolstered by Aetna Medicaid’s 30 years of experience managing the care of the most medically vulnerable, using innovative approaches and a local presence in each market to achieve both successful health care results and effective cost outcomes. Aetna Medicaid has particular expertise serving high-need Medicaid members, including those who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. Currently, Aetna Medicaid owns and/or administers Medicaid managed health care plans under the names of Aetna Better Health and other affiliate names. Together, these plans serve approximately 2.4 million people in 16 states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Texas. For more information, see www.aetnabetterhealth.com.
1 Berkowitz SA, Seligman HK, Rigdon J, Meigs JB, Basu S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Participation and Health Care Expenditures Among Low-Income Adults. JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(11):1642–1649. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.4841