Free 24/7 Bilingual Helpline Open to Provide Emotional Support during COVID-19 Health Crisis
By Florida Blue
March 12, 2020
Florida Blue, the state’s leading health insurer, has partnered with New Directions Behavioral Health to offer a free bilingual helpline to assist all Floridians with the stress they may feel during the COVID-19 health crisis. The toll-free helpline connects individuals with specially trained behavioral health counselors who can assist anyone experiencing feelings of stress, anxiety, trauma and grief due to the health crisis.
24-Hour Toll-Free Helpline
Free Bilingual Emotional Support
“Florida Blue realizes the impacts of the coronavirus can cause substantial anxiety as Floridians worry about the health of their loved ones and themselves. As part of our ongoing support of our members and the communities we serve, a free emotional-support helpline is being provided to assist any Floridians who are feeling overwhelmed,” said Pat Geraghty, president and CEO of Florida Blue.
Licensed clinicians are available to speak to anyone in Florida free of charge in both English and Spanish. The services are free to all Floridians, including those who do not have insurance or have coverage with another health plan.
The helpline is one of several ways Florida Blue is working to support Floridians and combat the spread of coronavirus. Last week, the insurer announced several efforts to minimize barriers to testing and treatment of the coronavirus.
Coverage of medical testing for COVID-19 is available at no out-of-pocket cost to its commercial insurance plan members, including Affordable Care Act (ACA)/Individual and Medicare Advantage health care plans. Florida Blue also waived prior authorization for diagnostic tests and covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidelines for the treatment of infected members.
Florida Blue increased access to necessary medications by waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications. It also has ensured formulary flexibility if there are shortages or access issues to prescribed medications. In the event of shortages or access issues, members will not be liable for the additional charges that stem from obtaining a non-preferred medication.
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.
To learn more about member benefits as we respond to COVID-19, please visit our Coronavirus Update blog.