Tufts Health Plan 2020 Corporate Citizenship Report

  • Reflection

    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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Staying flexible In the face of a health crisis

  • 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.

Pivoting our business practices

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.

Shifting focus in our communities

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.

Being consistently relevant by advancing racial justice

  • 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.

Honoring cultural traditions in product & services

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.

Advancing social justice in community

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.

Staying responsive by listening, then acting

  • 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.

Addressing barriers with product & services

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.

Promoting civic action in business practices

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.

2020 Highlights


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.


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.


DEI by example: everyone

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


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.

Fueling our communities:
Tufts Health Plan Foundation

  • Amplifying a leading voice

    The Massachusetts Public Health Association advocates for health equity. As early as March, they recognized COVID-related inequities in the state’s hardest-hit communities and sprang into action to address them. Emerging as a leading voice for those communities, MPHA organized a Task Force on Coronavirus & Equity including community leaders who identified four key action areas and developed policy recommendations. They redeployed our funding to meet the moment, launching a statewide vaccine equity coalition and advocating for the nation’s strongest moratorium on evictions and foreclosures.

  • Fostering the movement for racial justice

    The pandemic and other events exposed racial inequities that ignited a national movement in the summer of 2020. Tufts Health Plan Foundation committed $1.2 million to community organizations across our four-state region. Here’s who is leading the fight. Massachusetts: The New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund, the Latino Equity Fund and the Asian Community Fund. Rhode Island: Alliance Mobilizing Our Resistance (AMOR). Connecticut: CT Corps.  New Hampshire: Black Lives Matter (Manchester, Nashua, Seacoast)

  • Integrating "Age-friendly" principles

    At the height of the pandemic, Trust for America’s Health, a national leader in public health, explored how to advance “age-friendly” principles in public health with community leaders. We funded convenings of leaders of the state units on aging and public health leaders from the six New England states to discuss how to improve community-level response and enhance coordination among state units. This pilot is being replicated in other states with federal government support.

  • Sounding the alert in Chelsea

    Chelsea, Mass., has a history of health disparities due to systemic racism. Community leaders responded to early signs of the disproportionate effect of the pandemic. The result was the One Chelsea Fund created in April 2020. Guided by La Colaborativa, GreenRoots, the Neighborhood Developers and Community Action Program Inter-City, the fund feeds families and supports residents facing eviction. Within five months, the organization had provided financial assistance to 4,600 Chelsea families. The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley leads this work with support from the Foundation.

    Photo courtesy of One Chelsea Fund.

  • Listening to understand community needs

    COVID-19 spared no community in the four states where we live and work. Our Foundation listened to 300+ nonprofits to learn what was needed and gave nearly $2 million above our annual grantmaking. Early grants went to food banks in Conn., Mass., N.H. and R.I. Later rounds helped fight discrimination and addressed systemic racism as well as violence against the Asian community. We supported efforts to bring PPE and training to homeless shelters and other shared housing. Understanding the urgency community organizations faced, we eliminated reporting requirements and accelerated payments.

    Photo courtesy of Clinica Esperanza/Hope Clinic. 

  • Pivoting to combat social isolation

    As COVID-19 peaked in R.I., everyone experienced social isolation—especially the state’s older adults, 25 percent of whom lack digital access. Age-Friendly Rhode Island (AFRI) pivoted to address the issue. Showing the power of collaboration, AFRI launched a Virtual Community Center, partnering with senior centers statewide and digiAGE at the Office of Healthy Aging. The initiative aims to close the generational digital divide by providing virtual classes, activities and other programs. Ongoing efforts to redefine age-friendly communities in R.I. are supported by our Foundation.

    Photo courtesy of Age-Friendly Rhode Island.

  • Protecting renters' rights

    Connecticut’s Naugatuck Valley is one of the nation’s poorest industrial areas. It is home to many of the state’s 39,000 renters who face eviction at a rate more than double the state average. Black and Latino/a/x residents suffer the most—twice as likely to rent than own and 86 percent more likely to contract the virus. This makes them more vulnerable to eviction. The Naugatuck Valley Project used Foundation funding to protect renters and fight for eviction moratoriums.

  • Bracing the backbone of community

    With the grant from Tufts Health Plan Foundation, “we are making real contributions to those with hearing loss in need of communication strategies during the COVID-19 safety protocols. We’ve been giving out supplies to first responders, educators, retailers and individuals, customizing to their unique needs.”—Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA) Seacoast NH Group

    Photo courtesy of ALDA.

  • Learning from each other

    The pandemic taught us important lessons about building equity with older adults. A key finding: Partnerships between government and nonprofits dedicated to community wellbeing are critical. The Foundation funded research to learn from six Mass. communities. The report, “How Innovative Community Responses to COVID-19 Support Healthy Aging,” highlights promising practices from four cities — Chelsea, Lynn, Brockton and Lawrence — and two rural communities with older populations, all disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

National recognition

  • 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.



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


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

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

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