Gelzer, Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs for AmeriHealth Caritas, a national leader in Medicaid managed care and other health solutions for those most in need.
“For many Americans with less resources, this problem may be due to a lack of healthy food sources in their neighborhood and transportation to access sources in other communities. As Medicaid’s Managed Care Organization (MCO), we are increasingly committed to helping our members find and access sources of fresh produce, cereals and other nutritious foods, ”said Gelzer.
Some of the resources Americans neediest can turn to for finding and obtaining healthy foods include:
More and more grocery stores are employing nutritionists. They meet with customers, explain how to make their diets healthier, and even teach them how to find healthy foods.
Some grocery stores also offer cooking demonstrations. Some supermarket companies specialize in providing products, programs, and services that better meet the needs of people with limited financial resources. At the very least, large grocery stores offer a much wider variety of fresh produce, whole grains, and other healthy foods than are often available in small neighborhood stores.
Many low-income communities lack such grocery stores and people without their own transportation may have difficulty accessing healthy food sources. Medicaid members eligible for Home and Community Services (HCBS) can receive transportation for not medical Services such as grocery shopping. Seniors can also access it Paratransit Services. Medicaid members who are covered by a managed care plan but do not qualify for HCBS or senior services can refer to their health plan to see what resources may be available.
Organizations in the community
If finding healthy foods is less than finding your challenge, there are options out there that can help you grocery shopping, or even do so entirely on your behalf. There are also panels, some of which are also distributed in rural areas off-site. If you are a senior you can find out more about them below Contacting Your regional agency for aging.
Look for faith-based groups
Religious institutions of all faiths are usually charged with helping those in need. Some organize food trips or even prepare meals for those most in need. You can also help find other organizations that offer such services.
AmeriHealth Caritas is part of the Independence Health Group in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. AmericaBless you Caritas is one of the nation’s leading providers of health solutions for those most in need.
More information is available at www.amerihealthcaritas.com.