LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Kentucky Medicaid announced the health plan has donated 700 new winter coats to Kentucky’s first lady Glenna Bevin’s coat drive. The coats have been delivered to Kentucky Department of Community Based Services locations across the state for distribution to youth who are in need.
“No Kentuckian should go without a coat during the cold winter months and no foster child should ever have to pack their belongings in a trash bag,” said First Lady Glenna Bevin. “I would like to thank Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Kentucky Medicaid for its generous donation, and encourage others to step up and give what they can. It is our duty to serve the most vulnerable among us.”
Anthem has also donated 200 duffle bags that will be distributed to help children and youth in foster care, and has committed to donating an additional 10,000 duffle bags in the spring. Teams of Anthem Medicaid associates spent the holidays helping to wrap gifts for teenage girls who are in foster care and are victims of trauma and abuse, living in the Maryhurst psychiatric residential treatment facility.
“Anthem Medicaid would like to see all youth experience happiness over this new year, so it was very important for us to make an extra effort to brighten the lives of some of our state’s most underserved kids—our foster youth,” said Celia Manlove, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Kentucky Medicaid president. “Foster children face formidable challenges and often do not have access to resources that many of us take for granted, so it was the right thing to do to commit our support and give them a little boost.”
Since 2011, the number of foster care youth has increased to more than 8,500 youth across Kentucky. As this number may continue to rise in the New Year, so will the need to provide comfort and extra support to foster care youth, particularly during these cold winter months. This is why, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Kentucky Medicaid has engaged in several efforts to support foster care youth across the entire state of Kentucky to ensure that they have a good start to their new year.
Approximately, 48% of Kentucky’s children are living in low-income households and 41 of every 1,000 are living outside of their homes in the foster care system. This number has grown in recent years due to the opioid crisis impacting Kentucky, like many other states across the country. The number of children coming into foster care has stressed the resources available to them. Anthem Medicaid knows that many times, children and youth who are being transitioned to foster care, often leave home with nothing or at the very least a plastic bag with a few personal items. Providing these children with a warm coat and a sturdy duffle bag for their possessions is a small step Anthem Medicaid is taking to help these children feel cared for and supported during this difficult time.
“We want to thank Anthem Medicaid for stepping up and helping to support our state’s foster youth,” said Vickie Yates Brown Glisson, Health and Family Services Cabinet Secretary. “These kids face challenges and hardships that no child should ever have to experience, so we commend Anthem Medicaid for their compassion and efforts to bring joy and normalcy into these kids’ lives.”
Anthem Medicaid also recently donated $5,000 to help repair the main dining hall and commercial kitchen at Boys & Girls Haven in Louisville, which was destroyed when frozen pipes burst and flooded the space. The money will help with the immediate financial costs for equipment and adjustments to the temporary kitchen space, returning normalcy and warmth to the foster children the haven serves.
Anthem has been serving the commonwealth’s Medicaid program since 2014, when it launched services to Medicaid expansion, and has since been contracted by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services to provide statewide Medicaid benefits and services to children enrolled in the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance program (KCHIP) and Medicaid-eligible children in Kentucky’s foster care programs. Aside from coordinating Medicaid services for Kentucky’s foster care youth, Anthem has made concerted efforts to support foster kids, including a recent donation to purchase laptops for college bound high school graduates in foster care. To learn more about Anthem services and supports, visit https://mss.anthem.com/ky.
ABOUT ANTHEM BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD KENTUCKY MEDICAID
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield serves approximately 125,000 Medicaid beneficiaries in Kentucky. Every day, members of the Anthem team can be found in Kentucky communities listening to our members, interacting with our providers and partnering with community-based organizations. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield began serving Medicaid beneficiaries in Kentucky in 2014. To learn more, visit https://mss.anthem.com/ky.
ABOUT THE KENTUCKY CABINET FOR HEALTH AND FAMILY SERVICES
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is home to most of the state's human services and healthcare programs, including the Department for Medicaid Services, the Department for Community Based Services the Department for Public Health, the Department for Aging and Independent Living and the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. CHFS is one of the largest agencies in state government, with nearly 8,000 full- and part-time employees located across the Commonwealth focused on improving the lives and health of Kentuckians.