Instacart Providing Grocery Stipends to Medi-Cal Members

Company joins Kaiser Permanente to study food access outcomes in California
Emily Crowe
Multimedia Editor
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Instacart and Kaiser Permanente will study the impact of convenient access to nutritious food on health outcomes.

Grocery technology company Instacart is joining forces with health care provider Kaiser Permanente to study the impact of convenient access to nutritious food on health outcomes. As part of the study, Kaiser Permanente will provide participants with Instacart Health Fresh Funds to purchase nutritious foods and pantry staples that will be delivered directly to their homes via Instacart.

The companies will target Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California and Southern California Medi-Cal members who have diet-related diseases, including diabetes, chronic heart failure and more. The Instacart grocery stipends can be used to purchase fresh and frozen produce, legumes, plant-based oils, spices and more from a curated virtual storefront.

According to Kaiser Permanente, the work is part of its comprehensive approach to improving the health of its members and patients by addressing the social health needs — such as secure housing, reliable transportation, and access to nutritious food — that contribute to overall well-being. 

"At Kaiser Permanente, we know that without access to nutritious food, individuals are less likely to stay healthy, increasing the likelihood of new and widening health disparities and health care costs," said Anand Shah, MD, VP of social health at Kaiser Permanente. "This innovative study is one of the many avenues that we're pursuing to improve the health of our members and communities with diet-related diseases."

"We're dedicated to addressing nutrition insecurity, and by leveraging our technology, significant reach, and retail partnerships, we can help families across the country get nutritious foods delivered through Instacart," said Sarah Mastrorocco, VP and general manager of Instacart Health. "We know access can lead to better health outcomes, and we're proud to partner with Kaiser Permanente to demonstrate the positive impact that nutrition security and food as medicine can have on a patient's overall health and well-being." 

Instacart also recently teamed up with InComm Payments to help older customers pay for groceries with supplemental health benefit cards. Through a technical integration with that payments technology company, seniors who are members of participating Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and other eligible programs can use plan-sponsored funds to buy groceries as well as over-the-counter medications and wellness products for delivery via Instacart. The program begins on Jan. 1, 2024.

San Francisco-based Instacart partners with more than 1,400 national, regional and local retail banners to deliver from 80,000-plus stores across more than 14,000 cities in North America. In September, Instacart started trading under the ticker CART following a $30 per share price set for its initial public offering (IPO).

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