BCBS of Rhode Island Logo


As Rhode Island's largest local health insurer, BCBSRI has always been rooted in the community. We know that Rhode Islanders' well-being is influenced by where we grow up, play, live, and work. That knowledge drives our efforts to increase health equity, continually building toward healthier and more vibrant communities for everyone.


Using data to drive health equity

Good health is about so much more than what happens at the doctor’s office. At its most basic, it’s about having a safe place to call home and nutritious food to eat every day. Too many Rhode Islanders struggle to meet their basic needs, making it nearly impossible for them to maintain their good health—much less manage a chronic health condition. We are committed to helping change this. BCBSRI is using a data-driven strategy to help ensure all Rhode Islanders can live their healthiest lives.

Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation,

RI Life Index

A partnership of BCBSRI and the Brown University School of Public Health, the Index reveals trends in Rhode Islanders’ perceptions of their quality of life, community, and other health-related social factors. In 2022, the fourth year of the Index, we saw declines in several categories from 2021.

Hear community leaders discuss the resultslisten to podcast
See the declines—and improvements—in Index scores.

Health Equity Report

Information is essential in our effort to ensure that all BCBSRI members have access to quality and equitable care. Our Health Equity Report includes data from our Rhode Island adult members, and it confirms racial and ethnic disparities in several areas of patient care. As we collect more information from more members in 2023, we’ll use this data to understand underlying inequities and to develop programs that support health and well-being needs and help reduce health disparities in the community.


Maternal health and doulas

Everyone deserves the best pregnancy and childbirth care available, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, or ZIP code. BCBSRI is committed to reducing racial disparities through a multiyear, multifaceted strategy that addresses the full spectrum of maternal care among those at higher risk.

BCBSRI began covering doula services for pregnant people in January 2022. Trained and certified doulas provide emotional, physical, and educational support before, during, and after childbirth. Additionally, we’re working with local partners, such as the Urban Perinatal Education Center, to bolster the doula workforce in Rhode Island.

We’ve also launched a high-risk maternal care management program, with a goal to reduce the risk of preterm births, low birth weights, and pregnancy-related complications by providing relevant information, tools, and resources to those expecting. We’re building partnerships with ob/gyns and maternal care providers throughout Rhode Island to maximize the effectiveness of the program.

Understand maternal health benefits

Improving access to safe and affordable housing

The RI Life Index guides BCBSRI’s philanthropy, and since 2019, our highest priority has been improving access to safe and affordable housing. 2022 grants build on our existing investments in addressing affordable housing, which total more than $5.27 million since 2019.

2022 BlueAngel Community Health Grant recipients

Last year, we marked the 20th anniversary of our BlueAngel Community Health Grants—given through the BCBSRI Community Health Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation—which address critical health issues in Rhode Island. Our 2022 grant recipients are helping our neighbors across the state, from creating affordable, supportive housing for older Rhode Islanders to offering financial education classes in Spanish to providing free legal counsel and advocacy.

Direct Qction for Rights and EqualityHousing Networkneighborhood buildersNeighborWorkspawtucket central falls developmentRhode Island Coalation to end homelessness

State of Homelessness

The 2022 State of Homelessness findings were bleak: 1,577 people experienced homelessness during the January 2022 Point in Time count. BCBSRI is a sponsor of the annual count release, conducted by The Rhode Island Coalition to End Homelessness.

aging in place

Aging in Place

The Aging in Place program from Habitat for Humanity of Rhode Island—Greater Providence and East Bay, with support from BCBSRI, provides home modification, repair, and decluttering services for older Rhode Islanders.


Bringing nutritious foods to our neighbors

With food prices rising and pandemic relief programs ending, food insecurity increased significantly in our state in 2022. Nearly one in three households were not able to afford adequate food, according to the RI Life Index. Working with our community partners, we expanded efforts to help our neighbors access the nutritious food they need to thrive.

A focus on fresh food

Through a new partnership with The ELISHA Project, BCBSRI sponsored a 10-month Share Market series. These markets increase the availability of wholesome, culturally relevant foods in low-income communities, with a family of four receiving approximately 25 pounds of nutritious food, including protein, fruits, and vegetables. Our BlueAngel volunteers supported every market, with more than 120 people serving over the ten months.

community members served at 2022 Share Markets
Play Video
Courtesy of The ELISHA Project
Watch Video
We recognize the tremendous health benefits of fresh food. People who are struggling are often relegated to eating prepackaged and inexpensive food high in sugar and saturated fats. With its emphasis on keeping Rhode Islanders healthy, Blue Cross is a logical—and welcome—partner for The ELISHA Project.
George Ortiz, Co-Founder, The ELISHA Project
meals for older adults

Gobble Games for the Food Bank

BCBSRI associates participated in the 2022 Gobble Games, an annual fundraising competition leading up to Thanksgiving in support of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. All Gobble Games gifts by associates were matched by BCBSRI.

total BCBSRI donation
food pantry

A new food pantry for students in Providence

During Hunger Awareness Month, BCBSRI partnered with We Share Hope to support a new food pantry at Mt. Pleasant High School. The pantry helped students excel by reducing the burden of food insecurity experienced by more than 50% of the student population.

students helped in 2022
meals for older adults

Culturally relevant meals for older adults

Through a Meals on Wheels Rhode Island pilot program, more than 180 participants—most of whom are Hispanic or Latino—had nutritious, culturally relevant daily meals delivered. In addition to this innovative pilot, we were pleased to again support March for Meals’ annual public awareness campaign, which helps raise critical funding to help thousands of homebound older adults in our state.

read more
Read Martha’s commentary on food insecurity in The Boston Globe
Learn More
We believe that every Rhode Islander should have access to high-quality, affordable, and equitable care—including access to food. Nutritious food is a basic need and essential to creating a healthy Rhode Island for everyone.
Martha Wofford, President & CEO, BCBSRI

Empowering kids through play

For seven years, Recess Rocks in Rhode Island has helped ensure that recess is a safe, meaningful, and healthy experience for local students. This partnership between BCBSRI, Playworks New England, and the Rhode Island Healthy Schools Coalition provides a free training program for schools and resource staff, sharing activities that help kids stay active and social.

This year, Playworks launched their first-ever Active Indoor Recess Week to give educators new resources to help kids be active inside. Fifty-five educators participated in the first event, representing 24 schools and more than 1,000 students.

Rhode Island students impacted since 2016
Rhode Island schools have improved their recess culture
“It's cool and fun.”– Third grader, Mary E. Fogarty Elementary in Providence

Recess Champions

The Recess Champions program celebrates educators who have taken steps to prioritize play and social-emotional learning.

The following educators were 2022 Recess Champions:

  • Ken Anderson, Physical Education Teacher, Mary E. Fogarty Elementary, Providence
  • Jon Passarelli, Physical Education Teacher, Mary E. Fogarty Elementary, Providence
  • Diana Comtois, School Counselor, North Smithfield Elementary, North Smithfield
  • Doreen Reilly, Teacher Assistant, Richmond Elementary, Chariho

Giving back across the state

It’s our favorite day of the year—our company-wide day of service. During our 11th annual Blue across Rhode Island, held on Friday, September 16, we partnered with 14 local nonprofit agencies.

Our employees built houses, transformed school play spaces, painted community centers, and assembled food and hygiene supplies for people in need. In addition to volunteer support, each project site received a financial contribution of $5,000 to assist with their important work.

See the difference a day can make.

Play Video
Watch Video
It’s not only about building a home. It’s about using the home as a tool to bring the community together. And that’s what makes us stronger.
Azade Perin-Monterroso, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Providence and East Bay

Expanding COVID-19 coverage