Facts about COVID
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is committed to providing clear, timely guidance to members, employer accounts, community organizations, the media and the medical community.
Answering questions about COVID
Since the start of the pandemic, Coverage new service has produced more than 100 original,
fact-based reports and videos featuring trusted voices of clinicians, public health officials, faith leaders and COVID survivors, including the following:
COVID boosters available for kids age 5-11
An infectious disease doctor explains how they work and why they matter
What you should know about COVID treatments
Antiviral therapies and monoclonal antibodies are now widely available in Massachusetts for at-risk patients
What researchers want to know about Omicron
‘Get vaccinated and get your booster shot,’ experts urge, as scientists study the new variant’s transmissibility and strength
Which masks protect against Omicron?
An infectious disease specialist answers common questions about why N95 and K95 masks are now recommended
What you need to know about COVID vaccines
Read in-depth reports on the three authorized vaccines and watch videos explaining how they work
Why we get vaccinated
Read and watch the stories of dozens of clinicians, firefighters, faith leaders and neighbors sharing their hopes as they get vaccinated against COVID-19
Is it time for your COVID booster?
How booster shots can protect against severe illness from variants, and other answers to common questions
How the COVID-19 vaccine protects kids 5-11
Safe, free shot proves highly effective at preventing severe illness – and can help kids get back to normal
WATCH: ‘I’m going to get to hug my friends again’
What kids want kids to know about the COVID vaccine
Why get vaccinated after COVID infection?
The shot offers stronger protection than immunity from illness, clinicians say
What we know – and what we don’t – about COVID-19 variants
Yes, vaccines work against the mutated virus, and answers to other common questions from an infectious disease expert
Vaccines protect against severe illness from Delta variant
Blue Cross sponsors new immunization clinics in neighborhoods across Massachusetts to shield public amid rising infection rate
Battling the misinformation pandemic
Experts offer tips for finding -- and sharing -- the truth about COVID-19
WATCH: ‘These vaccines will protect the people I love’
An infectious disease physician offers her perspective on COVID vaccination
You’re fully vaccinated. Now what?
A clinician offers guidance on socializing, travel, protecting kids, and more
WATCH: Getting back to normal
A clinician’s video tips on what you can do now that you’re fully vaccinated
Combating a legacy of racism, one shot at a time
The chief medical officer of a vaccination site takes action to boost confidence and access in communities hit hardest by COVID
Heroes on the front lines
In their own words, Massachusetts clinicians share what it is like to care for coronavirus patients — and, finally, to get vaccinated
When can you get vaccinated?
People at highest risk are first in line, with rollout to everyone over 16 in Massachusetts starting April 19
Video: The promise of vaccination
A physician reflects: ‘Imagine the day you can stop wearing a mask’
Video: The gift of a healthy Thanksgiving
A physician’s perspective on connecting with loved ones, while staying safe
Video: How to socialize safely
Stay outdoors and limit your circle, clinicians say, as Massachusetts begins to loosen restrictions
Facts about face masks
How they work to stop coronavirus droplets -- and which myths you should ignore
The questions employers are asking about COVID-19
Experts explain what factors will matter most in the short-term and in the years ahead
Warning against stigma
As COVID-19 spreads, clinicians warn against the public health threat posed by fear and bias
Video: A physician’s insights into our new way of life
We can all play a part in the fight against the coronavirus. Dr. Katherine Dallow explains how
Saving lives by staying home
‘Social distancing’ is our best shot at slowing spread of devastating virus, clinicians say
Video: One physician’s view of the coronavirus
‘What’s important is we all work together,’
Dr. Katherine Dallow says
Blue Cross has convened clinical, legal and other experts to address a wide range of key issue over the course of the pandemic, ranging from health and safety guidance to fraud prevention. More than 130 free webinars featuring these experts reached thousands of customers.
Blue Cross has contributed $1 million to community health centers and local nonprofits to support vaccine outreach, education and access, backing organizations including Equity Now & Beyond, a collaborative of five immigrant-led organizations.
A trusted resource online
During the pandemic, fraud schemes and pseudoscience have often spread quickly and damagingly online. Blue Cross takes pride in its role as a trusted resource for members, and has utilized social media and digital tools to provide education, amplify expert voices and dispel myths.
Within hours of a public health emergency declaration in 2020, the health plan created a Coronavirus Resource Center, which has been continuously updated to provide timely information about vaccines, testing resources, and more, attracting 259,000 visits.
Since March 2020, 7 million emails and 499,000 texts have been delivered to help members understand key developments, find testing locations, plan vaccination appointments and understand the safety and efficacy of vaccines. An additional 554,000 emails were delivered to employers to provide support. The company's 396 social media posts on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook have shared valuable information on public health guidance and vaccination resources.
Support for clinical partners
Blue Cross developed a COVID-19 Information page for 40,000 providers to ensure clinicians are not vulnerable to misinformation and have the facts they need as they work on the front line to care for patients.
The page provides up-to-date details about changes the health plan instituted in response to COVID-19, including:
- Coverage for vaccines, testing, and treatments
- Telehealth services
- Billing and specific information for mental health services
- Administrative changes designed to simplify providers’ processes and remove barriers to our members’ care.
The health plan published 63 news articles to the provider site, and issued 23 emails to alert providers of news.
Combating misinformation and fraud
Blue Cross has taken a proactive approach to informing the public throughout the pandemic with work that was honored by The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association with the Excellence in Public Awareness Award, which recognizes meaningful and effective efforts by government agencies, law enforcement and health plans to investigate, stop and promote understanding about health care fraud.
A Blue Cross press release spurred immediate New England media attention to the issue of pandemic-related fraud. Jennifer Stewart, senior director for fraud investigation and prevention at Blue Cross, has been featured on three of the state’s leading TV networks, WHDH, WWLP and WCVB, as well as Rhode Island’s public radio station and in news outlets including Vox.com and Becker’s Hospital Review.
Coverage has published original news reports that include national and historical context, advice from state officials including the attorney general, and consumer guidance from experts such as Stewart.