NEW YORK, March 3, 2021 – Just in time for National Nutrition Month®, Healthfirst, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health insurers serving more than 1.6 million New Yorkers, announced that members enrolled in its Life Improvement Plan (LIP) and CompleteCare (CC) plan can use their over-the-counter (OTC)/Healthy Foods and Produce dollars to purchase items at farmers markets in the GrowNYC network.
In addition to use of the OTC/Healthy Foods and Produce card for non-prescription drugs and health-related items at pharmacies and other retail stores, LIP and CC members now have increased access to healthy foods and produce through their OTC/Healthy Foods and Produce allowance ($145 per month and $155 per month, respectively), which can now be used at any GrowNYC Greenmarket, Farmstand, and Fresh Food Box location. Members can visit the GrowNYC website at https://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket/ourmarkets to find a nearby location. Once at the market, the Healthfirst member would visit the GrowNYC information tent for assistance.
"Healthfirst's commitment to its members and the New York community goes beyond access to quality healthcare through affordable health insurance," said Joyce Chan, VP Medicare Product, Healthfirst. "Addressing food access and promoting overall wellness is a high priority for Healthfirst, and tapping into existing entities like GrowNYC that have a significant footprint in our service area gives our members easy access to healthier, local food options."
"Central to GrowNYC's mission is ensuring that all New Yorkers can access the fresh food grown by farmers in our region," said Cheryl Huber, Assistant Director of Food Access & Agriculture at GrowNYC. "Our relationship with Healthfirst allows Medicaid and Medicare participants to spend their benefits with small and mid-size farmers who sell at more than 80 GrowNYC sites throughout the five boroughs of New York City. This program provides a critical economic stimulus to these small businesses while benefiting the health of New Yorkers, and we are proud to work alongside Healthfirst on this innovative effort."
GrowNYC encourages shoppers at all of their food access sites to adhere to safety protocols to protect themselves, their fellow shoppers, and the farmers and producers present. Click here for GrowNYC Covid Safety Guidelines.
Healthfirst is the only health insurance plan that provides members with the ability to use their OTC at GrowNYC through an exclusive agreement with InComm Healthcare™.
GrowNYC is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization that helps residents make ours the most sustainable city in the world. Reaching millions every year, GrowNYC operates Greenmarket farmers markets, Fresh Food Box sites, and Farmstands; engages New Yorkers in recycling education; and builds and maintains green spaces and engages young people in hands-on education. Through its Farmer Assistance program, GrowNYC offers business development technical assistance to Greenmarket farmers to ensure their long-term viability.