JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida Blue, the state’s leading health insurer, announced today that it is making an initial investment of $2 million to address urgent health and safety needs in communities across Florida, the company’s latest response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. The contributions will address food security for seniors and children, support for hourly workers, behavioral health needs and other crisis priorities.
The company will make a series of donations across Florida through four gifts of $500,000. The monies will then be distributed to community organizations and partners in north, central, west and south Florida that are working on immediate needs addressing neighborhood health and well-being.
“Florida Blue understands our communities, members and employees are facing tremendous uncertainty and need immediate help in this growing crisis,” said Pat Geraghty, Florida Blue president and CEO. “Collaboration during a crisis is critical, and Florida Blue is working with coalitions of leaders to support Floridians during these unprecedented times. We applaud the response efforts underway by so many organizations and encourage others to come together and join Florida Blue in helping lead our state through this serious challenge.”
This investment directly aligns to the company’s mission to help people and communities achieve better health, as well as Florida Blue’s priority during this public health crisis to protect the health and safety of individuals, communities and the health care system. The company will share details on the specific local partners and programs that will be funded from these investments as they become available.
For COVID-19 testing and treatment questions, non-Florida Blue members should call their doctor or the Florida Dept. of Health at 866-779-6121 or email COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida Blue members with questions about the coronavirus, who have symptoms and need help finding a doctor to do a COVID-19 test or any other concern, should call Florida Blue at the phone number on the back of their member ID card (1-800-352-2583. Medicare members call 1-800-926-6565).
Florida Blue has made available a 24-hour, toll-free emotional support helpline for all Floridians, even if uninsured or insured by another plan. People can call 833-848-1762 to talk with a specially trained behavioral health counselor regarding the stress and emotional toll related to the health crisis. However, they cannot answer questions about testing or treatment.
Florida Blue has made several recent policy adjustments to combat the spread of COVID-19 while minimizing barriers to testing and treatment. These include:
- Increasing member’s access to virtual care, many of them at no cost
- Covering medical testing for COVID-19 at no out-of-pocket cost
- Waiving prior authorization for many diagnostic tests and covered services
- Increasing access to necessary medications by waiving early medication refill limits
As the COVID-19 situation develops, the company will consider other policy adjustments and response efforts that may be needed to support the needs of members and communities.
Florida Blue has members, providers, business and community partners in all 67 counties of Florida, has served the state for more than 75 years, and has a history of responding during crises. In recent years, the company has donated to support community response efforts in the wake of several hurricanes as well as the Pulse nightclub and Parkland school tragedies.
About Florida Blue
Florida Blue, Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, has been providing health insurance to residents of Florida for 75 years. Driven by its mission of helping people and communities achieve better health, the company serves more than 5 million health care members across the state. In total, Florida Blue and its affiliated companies serve 27 million people in 35 states. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., it is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.