WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The grocery delivery service offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) during the pandemic last year is back this year, the insurance company told 12 News.
Since October, about 2,300 BCBSRI members have been receiving a bag filled with groceries once a week, according to the company.
“You get fresh fruit and the fresh vegetables which it goes a long way,” BCBSRI member Jackie Rayjotte said.
Rayjotte said she signed up for the program when she learned she was eligible. At a time when food prices appear to be skyrocketing, Rayjotte said it helps when making some tough money decisions.
“This way I can spend my money, a little bit of my money, on my medication or over-the-counter meds,” Rayjotte said.
BCBSRI Chief Customer Officer Melissa Cummings told 12 News they’ve been partnering with Millonzi Fine Catering to offer this food at no cost to program participants.
“It really attacks that food insecurity piece but also you’re really helping people from an economic standpoint but also a nutritional standpoint,” President of Millonzi Fine Catering Kevin Millonzi said.
Millonzi added that some of the food is locally grown and sourced in Rhode Island.
While this program ends next Tuesday, Cummings said members who are eligible have the opportunity to enroll in a new plan called BlueRI for Duals.
“As part of our plan offering from Blue Cross, you’ll get a monthly grocery delivery up to $50 for anyone in that plan,” Cummings explained.
To qualify for the new plan, Cummings said individuals must be both Medicare and Medicaid eligible.
“There are 40,000 Rhode Islanders who qualify for Medicare and Medicaid,” Cummings said. “Blue Cross of Rhode Island is trying to serve all of the community and has never been able before to serve that portion of the community.”
Cummings said eligibility is typically driven by health needs or income level.
Open enrollment for BlueRI for Duals plan, and other Medicare plans ends on Dec. 7. Cummings suggested those who are considering this plan to reach out to a store to find out whether they’re eligible.
“We’ll answer your questions, you can come see us in a retail store. You can come look at someone and bring all of your papers and we will help you make sense of it,” Cummings said.
For more information, those interested can call the BCBS at (401) 459-2200 or visit any of the four locations in Cranston, East Providence, Lincoln and Warwick.