Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois provide state with 150,000 KN95 Masks
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois has purchased 150,000 KN95 respirator masks to provide the state to aid its response to the new coronavirus pandemic.
The insurer provided the supplies Wednesday to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, who will distribute them to providers most in need. The effort to identify and acquire the supplies was a collaboration between Blue Cross, the Governor’s Essential Equipment Task Force and the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association, said Harmony Harrington, vice president of government and community relations for the insurer.
“One of the things we heard from providers very early on was the lack of (personal protective equipment) and so, along with the myriad of other efforts we’ve been working on with the various stakeholders, one of the things we knew we could do… was to see if we could assist in procuring some of those front-line masks for healthcare professionals,” she said.
The masks were sourced by Arlington Height-based Optimal Design, who have also started to produce face shields at their facility.
Harrington declined to provide the cost of the supplies.
Blue Cross previously announced they would waive member cost-sharing for care related to the treatment of COVID-19, as well as offer a special enrollment period for people that previously declined group insurance offered by their employer.
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