Texas-Based Health Plans Continue to Give During Time of Need

Special deliveries help fill food void

AUSTIN, Texas –During a time when some families may need a helping hand, RightCare and FirstCare Health Plans (FirstCare) are working to help tackle food insecurity. It’s part of their mission to promote the well-being of individuals and families.

RightCare and FirstCare, which are part of Baylor Scott & White Health, sent boxes of packaged foods to the homes of almost 250 families during spring break. Since some families lean on meals provided at school, times such as spring break can be difficult to feed the family when school is not in session.

This is the third time the health plans have distributed food boxes, serving families in Cottle, Culberson, Dimmit, Kinney, Presidio, Real, Zavala and Falls counties.

"As a Texas-based organization, our members are our neighbors," said Liz Lopez Cepero, vice president of government programs, Baylor Scott & White Health Plan. "We feel fortunate to be able to make a small impact in the lives of our members."

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 38 million people, including 12 million children, in the United States were food insecure in 2019. Feeding America identified several Texas counties as having 30% food insecurity or more. Food insecurity is the disruption of food supply or eating patterns because of a lack of money or other resources. Adults who are food insecure may be at an increased risk for negative health outcomes and health disparities. For example, a study from the USDA found that food-insecure adults may be at increased risk for obesity and higher rates of chronic disease. According to the same study, food-insecure children also face a higher risk of developmental problems compared with those who are food secure.

"Adequate nourishment is critical to health and well-being," said S. Ramalingam, M.D., M.B.A., chief medical officer, Baylor Scott & White Health Plan. "A healthy diet can help boost immunity, support healthy pregnancies and lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers."

Drawing on the rich history of service and quality care provided by Baylor Scott & White, RightCare and FirstCare offer the services covered by STAR Medicaid, which covers low-income children, pregnant women, and families, plus additional benefits. These additional benefits include extra dental services for pregnant women, home visits for high-risk pregnant members, transportation for members, and assistance for members with asthma and vision services for adults. RightCare provides STAR Medicaid services across 31 counties in the Medicaid Rural Service Area – Central Texas. FirstCare provides STAR Medicaid services across 141 counties in the Medicaid Rural Service Area – West Texas and the Lubbock Service Area.

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About Baylor Scott & White Health Plan
Baylor Scott & White Health Plan brings together the best in patient-centric care to serve nearly 400,000 members to help provide access to affordable healthcare in 171 counties throughout North, Central and West Texas. To learn more about Right Care, a Scott and White Health Plan STAR Medicaid plan in Central Texas, visit RightCare.swhp.org. To learn more about STAR Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) plans in West Texas through FirstCare Health Plans, visit FirstCare.com. To learn more about Medicare Advantage plans, as well as commercial group and individual plan offerings, visit BSWHealthPlan.com.

About Baylor Scott & White Health
As the largest not-for-profit health system in the state of Texas, Baylor Scott & White promotes the health and well-being of every individual, family and community it serves. It is committed to making quality care more accessible, convenient and affordable through its integrated delivery network, which includes the Baylor Scott & White Health Plan, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance and its leading digital health platform – MyBSWHealth. Through 51 hospitals and more than 1,200 access points, including flagship academic medical centers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Temple, the system offers the full continuum of care, from primary to award-winning specialty care. Founded as a Christian ministry of healing more than a century ago, Baylor Scott & White today serves more than three million Texans. For more information, visit: BSWHealth.com