- Florida Blue, one of the state’s leading health insurance providers, announced a 24/7 free-of-cost telehealth service for those in areas impacted by Hurricane Ian
- The service will assist with non-emergency ailments and can prescribe certain medications and is open to all Floridians, not just those belonging to Florida Blue
- Florida Blue also partnered with a behavioral health service to offer bilingual emotional support services, which can serve as a referral service for other sources of mental health treatment
- The company is donating $1 million to storm-damaged areas across the state
Florida Blue is providing free telehealth services to those in areas impacted by Hurricane Ian’s landfall. The initiative is open to all Floridians affected by the storm, not just those belonging to Florida Blue.
Amid the severe damage caused by Hurricane Ian’s path of destruction, several hospitals have been forced to temporarily close. To mitigate a gap in healthcare access, the free telehealth consultations can assist those unable to access healthcare centers due to road and flood damage.
Through the service, clinicians can help with non-emergency conditions like allergies, cold, flu, and sinus problems. They also can prescribe some medications that are not controlled substances.
“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 last Friday. “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.”
Florida Blue has also partnered with New Directions Behavioral Health to offer 24/7 bilingual emotional support for anyone in Florida experiencing feelings of stress, anxiety, trauma, or 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.
The pair of telehealth initiatives comes just after Florida Blue announced an initial $1 million donation to support relief and recovery efforts across the state to help communities impacted by widespread destruction.
The $1 million in relief assistance will contribute towards areas of the state most affected by the storm, particularly southwest Florida. Donations will be made to general funds of local, regional, and statewide nonprofit organizations, which will be able to deploy funding where it is most needed.
The American Red Cross, local United Way affiliates, and Volunteer Florida’s Disaster Fund will be among the groups which Florida Blue and its parent company GuideWell will support.