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If there were ever a year to follow the lead of communities, it was 2020.

Here in New England, one community after another faced unprecedented challenges, from the biggest public health crises in modern history that disproportionately and negatively impacted communities of color to stay-at-home orders that hobbled local economies. We saw increased food insecurity, discrimination and isolation manifested in stark ways.

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Adapting Products & Services Amid The Pandemic

When our communities faced unprecedented challenges, they stepped up in unprecedented ways. We followed their lead, quickly mobilizing to help fight the coronavirus. Our #1 priority: keeping members connected to care. Our first steps: We waived all costs for COVID-19 treatment, testing, counseling and telehealth. We expanded mental health resources, including in-home addiction treatment. We created a series of free COVID wellness webinars. And we took parallel measures to make life easier for our providers, like waiving prior authorizations and pre-certifications, and relaxing deadlines for claims and appeals.


COVID-19 reshaped the workforce in communities across New England and beyond. In response, we pivoted to a remote team, without skipping a beat in meeting member needs. We established a relief fund for employees facing personal financial hardship from the pandemic. We developed resources for parents and those caring for loved ones. We gave pay raises to on-site essential workers. And we spread that support to our employer clients, helping them cover furloughed employees and extending premium payment periods. And those are just the highlights.


Communities told us what was needed, and we responded by taking immediate action. We donated vital supplies, including hand sanitizer, diapers, PPE and grocery store gift cards to local nonprofits. Our Foundation gave $1.9 million above our annual grantmaking to support pandemic response in Conn., Mass., N.H. and R.I. And our employees rallied like never before: When we pledged a two-for-one match for donations to hard-hit nonprofits, they dug deep — and helped triple our impact. Our overall match program giving increased by more than 50 percent.


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Committed to Inclusive Business Practices

The effects of systemic racism have a direct impact on our employees at home and at work. Committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, we strive to create an environment where employees feel safe and secure in being their personal best. In 2020, we created an anti-racism task force to tackle unconscious bias in the workplace. We expanded diverse hiring and anti-discrimination policies and strengthened workforce trainings and support for diverse suppliers. We held our second company-wide Unconscious Bias Day, elevating conversations about racism, intersectionality and microaggressions. We shared resources on privilege, allyship and how to be anti-racist across the organization. And our leaders advanced our efforts by serving on state and local task forces, including the Massachusetts COVID-19 Health Equity and Vaccine Communications advisory groups.


Diversity, equity and inclusion are core values here — values that show respect for communities and drive innovation in our clinical programs and member experience. Programs that honor members’ cultural traditions help reduce health disparities. A new Health Equity Committee helps us better understand and respond to the needs of diverse members; our doula program provides non-medical support to expectant and new mothers; and ConsejoSano (Healthy Counsel), a Rhode Island-based multilingual program, helps members navigate the health system. These are highlights of our service innovations.


2020 heightened awareness of systemic racism, racial injustice and economic disparities. Community leaders raised their voices, and we responded in four notable ways. Our Foundation pledged $1.2 million to advance racial justice in four states. Employees and board members gave generously to social justice organizations and those responding to the pandemic, delivering nearly $400,000 to communities through our match program. Our Business Resource Groups awarded $50,000 in grants to Mass. and R.I. nonprofits serving diverse populations. And we helped with the reopening of small businesses owned by people of color, women and veterans through a unique partnership with Lawyers for Civil Rights.


image of a man working at a booth for the 2020 Census
Advocating with Community

The national census happens only once in a decade yet matters so much. In 2020, it took on even greater importance, because census population data helps advance equal opportunity and directs funding to fuel recovery. With the pandemic compounding the challenge of conducting a door-to-door census survey, we raised our voices, calling on government leaders to preserve reporting timelines, and used social media to provide accurate, unbiased census information. Our Foundation threw its support behind the final census push in N.H. and R.I., buoying organizations doing grassroots work in communities at risk for undercount. And our 2020 Rhode Island Healthy Aging Data Report gave community leaders tools to advocate for policies and practices that advance healthy aging.

Photo courtesy of Higher Ground International.


The pandemic hit older people and communities of color the hardest. Faced with urgent challenges, communities have come together in inspiring ways. We followed their lead by making changes to products and services that benefit all of our members – regardless of age or circumstance. We advocated for assistance on behalf of employers, self-insured individuals, and provider partners. And we’ll continue to work closely with the health insurance industry and trade groups to push for local and federal support throughout this crisis. In Rhode Island, where 1 in 10 residents struggle to afford basic needs, Tufts Health RITogether Medicaid members felt the impact of COVID-19 acutely. We responded with a bilingual campaign about our new coverage rules, including free testing, treatment and vaccines.  


In a divisive election year, communities came together. Along with nearly 400 CEOs from around the country, we signed the nonpartisan Day for Democracy pledge. To raise awareness, we shared voter registration instructions and links to request applications. We provided online resources for employees interested in voting by mail or locating polling stations. To support employees exercising the right to vote, we offered two hours of paid time off to vote in person. We also encouraged employees to complete the census by providing resources in multiple languages. To measure progress toward our diversity goals, we asked employees to share their own diversity data, including race/ethnicity, gender identification, disability and veteran status.


COVID-19 Community Innovations

Communities told us they were creating more inclusive and equitable systems to support older people, and we acted on what we heard.

Read the Report
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Anti-Racism: Courageous Conversations

Unconscious Bias Day reinforced our anti-racism work and reignited conversations that embraced diverse perspectives, built trust and instilled a greater sense of belonging at work.

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DEI by Example: Everyone Counts

We amplified diverse community voices, stood up for voters’ rights, and advocated for full census participation.

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Maximum Impact: Walk to End Alzheimer's

Our team took on “the purple hair challenge” and hit the streets for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, crushing our fundraising goals.

Watch the Video



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Proud to Be a Civic 50 Company

Just five years after launching our Corporate Citizenship program, Tufts Health Plan received national recognition as one of the most civic-minded companies in the United States. We are one of just a handful of New England companies to be named to the Civic 50 by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. This distinction underscores our commitment to living our values and connecting to the needs of the communities where we live and work.

Awards & Recognition

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As of 12/31/20

• ~3K members
• ~20 employees work in CT
• $625K to community in 2020; $1M to date
• $96K+ spent with diverse businesses in 2020

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As of 12/31/20

• 1.1M+ members
• 2,800 employees work in MA
• $5.4M to community in 2020; $46M+ to date
• $15M spent with diverse businesses in 2020

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New Hampshire

As of 12/31/20

• ~35K members
• 80 employees work in NH
• Nearly $966K to community in 2020; $2.9M to date
• $250K spent with diverse businesses in 2020

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Rhode Island

As of 12/31/20

• 25K+ members
• ~80 employees work in RI
• Nearly $1.2M to community in 2020; $6.3M to date
• $193K+ spent with diverse businesses in 2020