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BlueShield of Northeastern New York Providing Members Free Digital App to Support Mental Health and Overall Wellness

April 28, 2020

Among Health Plan’s Many Efforts to Support Members During Pandemic

BlueShield of Northeastern New York, as part of its ongoing commitment to supporting members’ overall wellness, especially during uncertain times, is offering its members free access to a well-regarded digital behavioral health app, myStrength.

myStrength, powered by Livongo®, is a highly interactive application that empowers users to combat anxiety, stress, depression, chronic pain and sleep challenges. The app features modules that can help manage heightened stress and feelings of social isolation due to COVID-19, as well as manage their overall health.

BlueShield’s expanded partnership with Livongo, known for its digital diabetes management tool, will allow the health plan’s members 24/7 access to myStrength’s tools and resources. To get started, members should first register on our website before they download myStrength through the app store.

The announcement follows a national poll recently released by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) stating that 48 percent of Americans are anxious about the possibility of getting COVID-19; 36 percent say coronavirus is having a serious impact on their mental health; and 59 percent feel coronavirus is having a serious impact on their day-to-day lives.

“We want our members to know that regardless of the ongoing uncertainty, they can count on BlueShield to support their total health needs,” said Dr. Thomas Schenk, Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, BlueShield of Northeastern New York. “It’s important to make sure that we’re all tuning in to our mental and emotional well-being, particularly in times of increased stress and anxiety. We’ll continue to provide resources, like myStrength, to help our members through these trying times.”

According to the APA, 57 percent of adults are also concerned that COVID-19 will have a serious negative impact on their finances and almost half are worried about running out of food, medicine, and/or supplies.

As part of the organization’s response to the pandemic, BlueShield’s dedicated team of nurses is proactively reaching out to thousands of its members to monitor their general health and well-being, as well as daily needs, during COVID-19, including food, medications, and transportation. These “wellness checks” have resulted in countless examples of the new “normal” for members, oftentimes resulting in referrals. 

BlueShield nurses are offering friendly check-ins, answering members’ questions about COVID-19, conducting regular health checks and triaging care to a medical professional, if necessary. They also have coordinated Meals on Wheels deliveries, grocery deliveries, home-care services for medication management, prenatal and postpartum care with telehealth services, as well as grief support for members.

“While it doesn’t surprise me that our dedicated team of nurses is going above and beyond to help our members, it does make me proud. We are here for our members and our community,” added Schenk.

To keep the community safe and at home, BlueShield also announced that its temporarily waiving member cost-shares for all clinically appropriate telehealth visits, including for wellness visits and behavioral health care. The local health plan is also offering a series of free wellness webinars to support local businesses and their employees during this time.

More information and updates on BlueShield’s resources can be found here.