For Immediate Release: December 2, 2020
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KANSAS CITY, MO. (December 2, 2020) Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC), the region’s largest not-for-profit healthcare insurance provider, announced today that it is partnering with Papa Inc, a leading technology-enabled platform for companionship & assistance for older adults & families, to offer Blue KC members in select Medicare Advantage plans assistance to address issues surrounding social isolation, meal and nutritional support and guidance and other relevant care to address social determinants of health for our seniors.
Social isolation is a significant issue for aging adults. Papa, through its Pals program, connects students, stay-at-home parents, and young professionals with seniors and may remove some of the burden and stress on family caregivers by providing a level of assistance and companionship for older adults. The program bridges the gap between two generations and offers seniors a unique at-home experience that can enrich their lives and may help combat feelings of loneliness. During the Pandemic, when loneliness can be a persistent issue, Papa has taken extra precautions to ensure members’ safety including virtual group experiences, Pal Covid readiness questionnaires and no-contact grocery and pharmacy drop-off.
“As a provider of Medicare Advantage services, Blue KC is committed to providing the highest quality coverage care for our seniors” said Lori Rund, Vice President, Government Programs. “Through this partnership with Papa, we hope to offer seniors ongoing support and guidance as they take steps to live healthier and happier lives.”
Starting Jan. 1, 2021, Blue KC members in select Medicare Advantage plans can qualify for up to 40 hours of this benefit per calendar year.
Once a member qualifies, Papa will provide a consultation to learn about the individual's needs and discuss ways in which a Pal may be able to help. Papa has created a new category of care through technology by connecting students, stay-at-home parents and young professionals, which Papa calls “Pals”, with seniors. As a partner, Papa will provide Blue KC members in select Medicare Advantage plans a program that bridges the gap between generations and offers seniors a unique at-home experience as seniors work to enrich their lives and combat feelings of isolation and loneliness.
“The impact of social determinants of health, which include loneliness and isolation, can negatively impact the health of older adults,” said Andrew Parker, Founder and CEO of Papa. “Our commitment to support these members by removing the obvious barriers associated with SDOH can have a huge impact. We are proud to partner with Blue KC to solve for these issues and address the importance of improving the lives of their members.”
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provides health coverage services to more than one million residents in the greater Kansas City area, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and 30 counties in Northwest Missouri. Our mission: to provide affordable access to healthcare and to improve the health of our members. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information on the company, visit its website at BlueKC.com.
Papa is a platform of curated companions that provide support and assistance to older adults and families nationwide. Papa was founded in 2017 in Miami, FL. For more information, visit joinpapa.com.