Healthcare isn’t just about healthcare anymore. Health outcomes may often occur by the conditions in which we live, learn, work, and play. Individuals with inadequate access to healthy foods are at a higher risk of developing chronic diseases. They also face increases in health care costs and services that might otherwise be avoidable. Food insecurity is a prevalent challenge among the senior population, which means having limited access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy lifestyle.
Committed to the wellness and longevity of its members, Vibra Health Plan has partnered with Farmbox Direct to deliver fresh fruit and vegetable boxes to its Medicare Advantage members in an initiative to help better serve this population. Many seniors rely on fixed incomes, which impacts the affordability of fresh produce and healthy eating patterns. Most often, elderly patients come home to empty kitchens and return to the hospital malnourished. By utilizing Farmbox Direct’s farm-to-home subscription-based service, this project will impact members with diet-related illnesses by positively improving their nutrition and health outcomes with free boxes of life-saving produce.
Vibra in partnership with Farmbox Direct believes that by addressing the most essential needs within the senior population, they can effectuate change. They can solve challenging issues seniors face such as those seeking non-healthcare related help which can impede on an individual’s ability to seek or adhere to treatment for chronic conditions which effects health outcomes over time.
Not only is food insecurity in the senior community an epidemic in this country, but it’s even more pressing after a hospital stay. Many patients don’t have food or support waiting for them back at home, and it can often result in malnutrition and hunger. America’s elderly population is the sickest group on record and faces obstacles like chronic illnesses, unaddressed social and health issues from the ’70s and ’80s. The burden this group places on healthcare costs is staggering, and Vibra is hoping to alleviate this with preemptive strategies, such as sending free products to their members and offering nutritional counseling to help educate those with diet-related illnesses on how to eat better.
The initial rollout went into effect January 1, 2020 and will reach Vibra Health Plan’s Medicare-enrolled members in Pennsylvania. The goal is to provide 2,700 boxes a month, which can be customized to a patient’s specific health needs and/or food allergies. This is the first time an insurance company in America has undertaken a free food delivery program for its members, and the goal is to elevate healthcare.
Vibra Health Plan is committed to total wellness by providing preemptive action in the form of these groundbreaking projects. It will also reduce costs by preventing repeated hospital stays.
“Our partnership with Vibra Health Plan will revolutionize healthcare,” notes Ashley Tyrner, Farmbox Direct’s Founder and CEO. “This is about working to solve the underlying issue for people with diet-related chronic illnesses, which is as simple as changing their nutrition.”
As part of the program, Farmbox Direct will be educating recipients on the merits of each fruit and vegetable included in the box, as well as providing recipes by renowned chef Sam Kass, previously the head toque at the White House, who now serves on the board for Farmbox Direct and is a Senior Policy Adviser to Michelle Obama.
“The partnership between Vibra Health Plan and Farmbox Direct is the future of health,” says Kass. “We are simply not eating enough fruit and vegetables, and this is especially true in low income and rural communities where access to healthy food is severely limited. This partnership to bring basic nutrition to those that need it most will impact the lives of countless people, significantly improve health outcomes, and reduce healthcare costs.”
About Farmbox Direct
Farmbox Direct is a subscription-based service that delivers the freshest fruit and vegetables directly from organic farms. Customers can choose between three different seasonal box sizes and then receive weekly, customized packages sent to their homes. Created by single mom Ashley Tyrner, the company was founded to address the needs of busy moms, food-challenged families and to eradicate the overwhelming food desert problem in America. As a single mom on food stamps, Ashley didn’t always have time to make a weekly trip to her local farmer’s market to pick up fresh produce, nor did she have the money to do so. She realized that people needed access to convenient and affordable fresh fruit and vegetables. She rose to the occasion, leaving behind her job to address this void in the food industry. Farmbox Direct also provides quick and easy recipes on its website, allowing subscribers to maintain a healthier lifestyle.
About Vibra Health Plan
Vibra Health Plan is a health insurance company located in Harrisburg, PA. We have a keen understanding of the difficulties encountered by patients and physicians in today’s health care environment. Vibra Health Plan is committed to focusing on the needs of its members and providers, assisting members in navigating the health care system, and providing access to affordable, quality care. Our member service and online tools help members to be empowered health care consumers. Vibra Health Plan PPO is available to residents in 33 counties in Pennsylvania.