CareFirst to Give $1.5 Million to Those Impacted by Recent Federal Government Shutdown; Offer Affected Members Relief

Posted on 2019-01-24
Updated on 2019-01-25 15:35:24

Company’s donation complements Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s contribution to organization serving federal employees

Baltimore, MD — CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst), the region’s largest not-for-profit health insurer, announced today steps it is taking to serve its members and the community as the country continues to experience the impact of the recent federal government shutdown.

Recognizing that the duration of the shutdown could affect the ability of individuals and employer groups to pay premiums, CareFirst will work with members on a case-by-case basis to potentially provide relief. Individuals who have coverage through an employer should contact their benefits office or group administrator. Those with individual coverage should contact CareFirst using the number on the back of their membership card.

“CareFirst is working diligently to ensure our members continue to have access to care during this time of extreme uncertainty,” said CareFirst President and CEO Brian D. Pieninck. “We also recognize that people throughout our communities who may not be directly impacted by the shutdown are still feeling its effects.”

In addition to member relief efforts, CareFirst announced donations totaling $1.5 million to organizations assisting individuals and families impacted by the shutdown, both directly and indirectly. The company will contribute $1 million to the Federal Employee Education and Assistance (FEEA) Fund -- the only independent, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization devoted solely to providing emergency financial assistance to civilian federal and postal public servants and their families.

CareFirst’s donation to FEEA is in addition to another $1 million contribution to the program by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Federal Employee Program (FEP) on behalf of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and its 36 affiliates nationwide. CareFirst is a BCBSA affiliate.

CareFirst will give another $500,000 to food banks and other safety net programs throughout the region, including:

  • $200,000 to the Capital Area Food Bank;
  • $100,000 to the United Way of the National Capital Area’s 2-1-1 program;
  • $100,000 to the Maryland Food Bank; and,
  • $100,000 to the United Way of Central Maryland's 2-1-1 program.

CareFirst also plans to hold a company-wide food drive to benefit local food banks experiencing increased need during the shutdown. CareFirst employees will be able to make donations of food or cash -- with cash donations matched by the company up to $500 per employee contribution.

“As the Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliate in the National Capital area, we are proud of our long history of service to federal employees,” Pieninck said. “In this challenging time, we have a responsibility to provide support for the federal workers who serve us all.”

About CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

In its 82nd year of service, CareFirst, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health care company which, through its affiliates and subsidiaries, offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to 3.2 million individuals and groups in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. In 2018, CareFirst invested $38 million to improve overall health, and increase the accessibility, affordability, safety and quality of health care throughout its market areas. To learn more about CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, visit our website at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.