CrestPoint Health and local non-profit team up to provide meals, transportation for seniors

11/5/2013


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – At 90, Elizabethton resident Gladys Stout felt trapped and dependent upon “bumming” (her word) rides to doctor appointments, church and the grocery store. Legally blind, fiercely proud and living alone, she had health insurance, but getting to the services she needed was the problem.

It isn’t hard to find other seniors in the same situation throughout Northeast Tennessee. Lack of access to transportation and nutritious meals directly affects the health of seniors at any income level, according to Jason Cody, executive director of First Tennessee Human Resource Agency (FTHRA). To help low-income seniors in this situation, FTHRA sponsors a Meals on Wheels program and bus transportation services available for a fee or at no charge to those who are eligible. But for those who don’t meet income guidelines, help has been harder to come by.

Now, some health insurance companies, such as Johnson City-based CrestPoint Health, offer help as part of their Medicare Advantage plan benefits. Beginning in 2014, Northeast Tennessee members of CrestPoint’s Medicare Advantage plans will have access to a limited number of transports to medical service locations and will receive one meal daily for a week after a hospital stay, all at no charge, regardless of the members’ income level.

FTHRA provides these services to the same Northeast Tennessee counties covered by CrestPoint’s Medicare Advantage plans which made working together seem to be a natural fit.  The counties include Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington.

“It’s a very creative solution for an unmet need in our region since the services we offer overlap,” said Cody. “Our desire to serve older people in the community is the same and I admire CrestPoint for finding a cost effective way to help people with their health.”

Cody says that access to transportation for medical services and home-delivered meals when needed gives people a sense of independence.

“They get comfort and assistance, which allows them to stay at home where they can rest and heal better,” he said.

Any senior in the covered counties can use FTHRA’s NET Trans bus services, which accommodate wheelchairs. And, Cody says the home-delivered meals are low-sodium, low-fat, and can accommodate special diet restrictions.

 “We’re really happy to be able to provide the meal and transportation benefits to members of our Medicare Advantage plans,” said Sharon Dicorato, vice president of sales and marketing for CrestPoint Health. “This is the type of assistance people really need to take care of their health; CrestPoint is dedicated to helping our members stay healthy and get help when they need it.”

For information about First Tennessee Human Resource Agency services, call 423-461-8200. To contact CrestPoint Health call 1-866-828-3307 or visit yourcrestpointhealth.com.

About CrestPoint Health:

CrestPoint Health is the only locally owned health insurance company in Northeast Tennessee. Headquartered in Johnson City, Tenn., CrestPoint Health is owned by local health care providers. Our focus is the Triple Aim, which means our three main objectives are to work to bring our customers the highest quality of care, low costs for health care and the highest satisfaction possible with our service. CrestPoint Health currently serves more than 16,000 members in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. For more information about CrestPoint Health,call 1-866-828-3307 (TTY/TDD Users call 1-800-848-0298) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. 

About First Tennessee Human Resource Agency:

First Tennessee Human Resource Agency is a nonprofit organization based in Johnson City, Tenn., providing much needed services to people in need in Northeast Tennessee. For more information call  423.461.8200 or visit www.fthra.org.

CrestPoint Health is a Medicare Advantage PPO plan with a Medicare Contract. Enrollment in CrestPoint Health depends on contract renewal.

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