Berlin, Vt., June 22, 2020— Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont signed a pledge today to ensure that our members who identify as LGBTQ will have continued access to health care without fear of discrimination.
We commit to our members that we will not change our practices based on new proposed federal guidance that would attack the protections in place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people. Vermont has long led the country in taking a stand for love and rejecting hate, and this instance of attempted discrimination will be no different for our members.
“As a non-profit entity that puts the health and wellbeing of our members at the forefront of each decision we make, we resoundingly reject discrimination in all of its forms,” said Don George, President and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont. “Wellbeing is as much mental as it is physical, and when a person faces discrimination based on their race, creed or sexual orientation, it has profound effects on the person’s whole health.”
If our neighbors are confronted with discrimination in health care, or experience other issues accessing care, we encourage them to seek help:
- Contact the Pride Center of Vermont's SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program during office hours at 802-863-0003 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program’s mission is to end violence and discrimination in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected (LGBTQ+) people in Vermont.
- Contact the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) by phone at 833-DFR-HOTLINE or by email at email@example.com. DFR is committed to ensuring Vermonters, especially those in marginalized and vulnerable communities, have access to medically necessary care.
- Contact the Health Care Advocate HelpLine by phone at 800-917-778 or by email at HCA@vtlegalaid.org. The Office of the Health Care Advocate is a free resource available to help everyone in Vermont solve problems related to health care, including health insurance and health care access.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont commits to ensuring access to the best available care for all our members no matter who they love or the color of their skin.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is Vermont’s only local, not-for-profit health plan. For over 70 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont has been enhancing the health and well-being of the Vermonters by offering innovative plans to individuals, seniors and businesses. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is dedicated to developing new ways to support high quality care and programs and events that promote wellness. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit www.bcbsvt.com.
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