A partnership among Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers and Lyft, expected to be fully operational before COVID-19 vaccine eligibility opens up to all Massachusetts residents on April 19, aims to help underserved and vulnerable populations get to and from vaccine appointments.

Under the program, 23 community health centers that have expressed interest in offering rideshare vouchers to their patients in need of transportation will be able to distribute Lyft Passes for patients to use to get to and from vaccine appointments.

Blue Cross has also provided initial $2,500 grants to 46 community health centers to support transportation programs.

Starting in early April, the health plan will staff a call center to help community health center patients without smartphones or bank accounts book rides to vaccine sites through Lyft’s Concierge platform.

“Community health centers are preparing for an influx of people seeking vaccination appointments as eligibility is expanded in the coming weeks,” Michael Curry, president and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, said in a statement. “Transportation is a challenge in many of the communities that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. This program is helping to bridge that gap with safe, free options for getting to and from vaccine appointments.”

(Copyright (c) 2021 State House News Service.

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