Florida Blue, the state’s Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, and its parent company GuideWell announced an initial $1 million donation to support relief and recovery efforts across the state of Florida to help communities impacted by the widespread destruction of Hurricane Ian.
“While we are only beginning to see a glimpse into the devastation left behind from this powerful hurricane, our hearts go out to everyone impacted along its path,” said Florida Blue and GuideWell President and CEO Pat Geraghty. “The communities that make up the fabric of our state are incredibly resilient, but many will need our support to recover and rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. The entire GuideWell and Florida Blue family, driven by our mission of helping people and communities achieve better health, stands ready to do our part.”
The $1 million in relief funds will be focused on areas of the state hardest hit by the storm, including southwest Florida. Donations will be provided to general funds of local, regional and statewide nonprofit organizations able to allocate funding where it is most needed once storm damage has been fully assessed. Florida Blue and GuideWell’s investments will be made with organizations such as the American Red Cross, local United Way affiliates and Volunteer Florida’s Disaster Fund.
Providing $0 Health & Well-Being Resources to Impacted Floridians
In addition to the $1 million donation in relief efforts, Florida Blue has launched several resources to support the health and well-being of Floridians impacted by the storm – regardless of their insurance status.
No-cost, 24/7 Teladoc visits: Many urgent care and doctor’s offices closed due to Hurricane Ian and may be slow to reopen due to power outages or damage. Florida Blue is working with Teladoc to offer no-cost, 24/7 telehealth visits for anyone impacted by the hurricane – even if they’re not a Florida Blue member.
Teladoc clinicians can help with non-emergency conditions such as allergies, cold, flu and sinus problems. They also can prescribe some medications that are not controlled substances. Individuals should call the Teladoc hotline at 855-225-5032 for assistance. The service is only for non-emergency situations.
Toll-free 24/7 bilingual emotional support helpline: The stress and anxiety of a hurricane can sometimes be overwhelming. Florida Blue teamed with New Directions Behavioral Health to offer a toll-free 24/7 bilingual emotional support helpline at 833-848-1762 for anyone in Florida experiencing feelings of stress, anxiety, trauma, and grief and in need of immediate emotional support. Callers may also receive referrals to other sources of mental health support and community resources to help them with emergency services.
Help with community & social services: While Florida Blue Centers in the path of Hurricane Ian are closed for in-person assistance, the Center teams are still available to support Florida Blue members and the community by calling 877-352-5830. The Florida Blue Center Community Specialists can help with community and social services like food programs, transportation services, financial and housing assistance programs, community support resources, and many other types of relief programs.
They’re ready to help by phone or through a virtual visit – whatever works best for each individual – by calling 877-352-5830, Monday – Friday, 9am – 7pm or Saturday, 9am – 4pm.
Florida Blue is also working directly with its most vulnerable members to support them in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. The insurer’s teams of nurses are personally reaching out to members with special needs, chronic conditions requiring constant management and other vulnerable members to check on their health and safety and offer assistance with accessing necessary medical supplies, medications and other essential items.
About Florida Blue
Florida Blue, Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, has been providing health insurance to residents of Florida for more than 75 years. Driven by its mission of helping people and communities achieve better health, the company serves more than 6 million members across the state. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., it is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation (GuideWell) is a not-for-profit mutual holding company and the parent to a family of forward-thinking companies focused on transforming healthcare. The GuideWell organization includes Florida Blue, the leading health insurance company in Florida; Triple-S Management, a leading healthcare services company in Puerto Rico; GuideWell Health, a portfolio of clinical delivery organizations; GuideWell Venture Group, a portfolio of companies including Onlife Health and PopHealthCare focused on creating human-first and innovative health solutions for health plans; GuideWell Source, a provider of administrative services to state and federal healthcare programs; and WebTPA, a market leading administrator of self-funded employer health plans. In total, GuideWell and its affiliated companies serve more than 46 million people in 45 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information, visit www.guidewell.com.