Special Initiatives

The Foundation provides a limited number of grants on a quarterly basis to organizations undertaking activities that impact Massachusetts by: piloting programs that address health care access for low-income and vulnerable consumers; advancing knowledge and information about health care delivery, coverage, and behavioral health; promoting efforts that validate the impact of human services on health status; evaluating programs or engaging in a variety of other activities that are aligned with the Foundation’s strategic priorities and mission to expand access to care for low-income and vulnerable residents of the Commonwealth.  

In response to the growing needs associated with COVID-19 and in keeping with the Foundation's mission and focus areas, the Special Initiatives grant program will focus on organizations responding to community needs caused by the virus.


Program Overview

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) Foundation will provide a limited number of one-year grants of up to $25,000 to Massachusetts organizations undertaking activities that engage in a variety of COVID-19 related activities. These activities must be aligned with the Foundation's strategic priorities to promote access to quality care and coverage, behavioral health services, and social equity and health for low-income and vulnerable residents of the Commonwealth.

Key activities may include:

  • Supporting individuals and families in addressing health-related social needs caused by COVID-19, helping them navigate available social services, such as housing and food security, in partnership with or in close alignment with a health care provider.
  • Supporting individuals and families in addressing behavioral health needs caused by COVID-19 and its social and economic repercussions.
  • Supporting communities in strengthening and building resilience to support individuals and families as they cope with COVID-19 and its aftermath and enhance community preparedness for future physical and/or behavioral health crises.
  • Any combination of these activities.

Eligible Applicants and Selection Process

In reviewing proposals for Special Initiatives COVID-19 Response Grants, the Foundation will only consider those organizations that:

  • Primarily serve low-income and vulnerable people, particularly individuals receiving MassHealth or other subsidized health insurance.
  • Demonstrate a track record of robust programming and services for low-income and vulnerable Massachusetts residents.
  • Are community-based and serve communities of color and/or rural communities that have been identified as having high rates of uninsured in the Foundation’s report, The Geography of Uninsurance in Massachusetts: an Update for 2013–2017

This program area is not currently accepting applications.  For a listing of current grant recipients, click "Recent Awards" to the left.