2021 Annual Report - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
We continue to inform and elevate discussions on the key health care issue of access to coverage that the Foundation has long been known for. In 2018 we also deepened our focus on access to critical health care and community services.
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20 Years of influence, information, and impact


2021 marked the 20th year since the founding of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation.

When the BCBSMA Foundation was created in 2001, we had a clear mission and goal—to expand access to health insurance for the lowest income residents of Massachusetts. At that time almost 7% of Massachusetts residents (or 500,000 individuals) were without health insurance.

Over the last twenty years, as we’ve made significant progress toward our coverage goal, our understanding of the issue has grown. We know that there are a host of other factors that contribute to access to care and to health outcomes, many of which sit outside of the health care sphere. While our mission remains the same, in 2021 we updated our language to reflect our current understanding of the root causes of the problem we’re hoping to solve and to reflect the inclusive and equitable approach that we aim to apply.

The mission of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation is to ensure equitable access to health care for all those in the Commonwealth who are economically, racially, culturally, or socially marginalized.

Since 2001, the BCBSMA Foundation has invested $77,406,196 through 2,035 grants and has published 236 reports on various aspects of the Commonwealth’s health care and coverage systems.

Our core strategies of collaboration with public and private organizations through grants, research, and policy initiatives has not changed but over time we have seen how these strategies have influenced, informed, and impacted the community.

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As a Foundation looking to shift systems through positive changes in policy and care delivery, we’ve used our role as a thought leader to influence the conversation, by funding organizations that need more space at the policymaking table and by equipping advocates and policymakers with evidence and data.

…through grantmaking

Our grantmaking strategy leverages our funding to expand the influence of diverse voices, and to stimulate additional investments by other philanthropic organizations. The Racial Justice in Health grant program is designed to strengthen the capacity and expertise of people of color-led grassroots organizations in health and health care advocacy. The BCBSMA Foundation is partnering with the Rx Foundation and the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health to fund the program.

Racial Justice in Health

Development of the Grant Program
History of the Racial Justice Program infographic

2021 Grant Partners

asian women for health logo
pioneer valley workers center logo

…through research

The Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance (MHSA) worked with research partners to rigorously evaluate the Housing First program in order to better tell the story of lives changed, health care gained, and cost avoided. Over the course of 2021, the report and its findings were widely cited, touting the model as a key strategy and influencing the conversation about reducing homelessness through supportive housing.

BCBSMAF has played such a critical role in partnership with MHSA in forwarding the concept of Housing First….In 2005, 16 years ago, no one was speaking of “Housing First.” Without the Foundation’s support of this concept…I doubt there would be any cheers today. To see now that it is being adopted by the mainstream system is the ultimate indicator of success.

Joe Finn, President & Executive Director, Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance


Well-researched and non-partisan data are the cornerstone of successful efforts to advance health policy and systems toward broader coverage and comprehensive care. The Foundation aims to produce data-informed recommendations and analysis that is used by advocates and policymakers alike to…

…highlight the role of MassHealth coverage across the lifespan

39% of Massachusetts birth, 42% of MA children, and 40% of MA children with special needs, are covered by MassHealth (pie chart infographics)

…illustrate the impact of insurance coverage loss during incarceration

Infographic: In Middlesex county, 80% of inmates have a substance use disorder, 50% have a mental health condition, and 75% have more than one co-occuring physical and/or behavioral health conditions

…clarify the data on the state’s spending on MassHealth

Pie chart infographics: SFY 2022 total state spending (MassHealth $19.2B, $33.9B other, $53.1B total state spending); SFY 2022 total state spending net of federal revenue (MassHealth $8.5B, $30.5B other, $39.0B net state spending)

…identify areas for improvement in diversifying the health care workforce

Selected provider workforce occupations by race and ethnicity, United States, 2020, and provider workforce by race and ethnicity, Massachusetts, 2013/2014 (bar graphs)


Creating equitable access to health care requires a vision, putting funding directly into organizations best positioned to serve their communities, a comprehensive set of actionable objectives, and proof of concept that policymakers and providers can use to ensure that resources, structure, and policy are all aligned to deliver health care to Massachusetts residents. We strive to demonstrate the impact…

…of our policies and programs on improving the Massachusetts behavioral health care system

VISION for a comprehensive system, TESTING of innovative service delivery models, State IMPLEMENTATION of roadmap for reform

In 2021, the Commonwealth announced a series of reforms through its new Behavioral Health Roadmap. Many of these reforms have been directly informed by the research, analysis, and investment in innovative models of care by the Foundation. Since 2016, the Foundation had been testing service delivery models including integrated behavioral health and primary care, and behavioral health urgent care through its grant programs. And in 2019, it released a comprehensive vision of an ideal behavioral health system for Massachusetts, along with a series of recommendations to move the state toward that model system.

…of our community investments

Nearly 100 grants were awarded to Massachusetts community based organizations through Connecting Consumers with Care, Expanding Access to Behavioral Health Urgent Care, Racial Justice in Health, Special Initiatives, Strengthening the Voice for Access, and the Catalyst Fund.


in grants awarded in 2021


grants awarded in 2021


organizations funded in 2021

…of state programs that provide coverage and care

Our MassHealth Impacts series and virtual event highlighted the key role of MassHealth on the health and finances of its members, families, and communities, as well as on the array of stakeholders and sectors outside of the traditional health care realm that benefit from the program.

MassHealth promotes near-universal coverage

Infographic: MassHealth serves more than 1.9 million diverse Massachusetts residents (700k children, including 42k children with disabilities; 175k seniors living in the community or in nursing facilities; 700k low-income adults, including parents and others who would otherwise be uninsured or underinsured; 270k adults with disabilities

MassHealth improves access to behavioral health services

MassHealth brings billions in federal funds to the state

2021 Board & Financials

Manny Lopes
Chair (January 2021 – October 2021)
President and Chief Executive Officer, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center

Andrew Dreyfus
Chair (October 2021 – present)
President and Chief Executive Officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Patricia A. Washington
Vice Chair

JD Chesloff
Executive Director, Massachusetts Business Roundtable

Sandro Galea, MD, DrPH
Dean and Robert Knox Professor, Boston University School of Public Health

Shelly F. Greenfield, MD, MPH
Chief Academic Officer, McLean Hospital
Kristine M. Trusty Endowed Chair in Psychiatry
Chief, Division of Women’s Mental Health
Director, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Clinical and Health Services Research McLean Hospital

Michael Hunter
Vice President, Business Development, Trinity Financial

Thea James, MD
Vice President of Mission & Associate Chief Medical Officer, Boston Medical Center

Mary Kay Leonard
Independent Consultant

Antonia “Toni” McGuire, RN
Senior Consultant, John Snow, Inc.

Michael Miller
Strategic Policy Director, Community Catalyst

Sandhya Rao, MD
Chief Medical Officer & Sr. Vice President, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Henry M. Thomas III, JD
President, Urban League of Springfield, Inc.

Thank You

Learn more about our grants, research, and programs at www.bluecrossmafoundation.com.



Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation

101 Huntington Avenue, Suite 1300
Boston, MA 02199-7611


The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ©2020 – BCBSMA Foundation. All rights reserved.