the philanthropic arm of , is donating $1 million towards relief and recovery efforts for those impacted by Hurricane Ian in Florida and Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico. Humana has also taken steps to aid communities in each storm’s path, including opening access to a crisis hotline with free counseling available.
Hurricane Ian made landfall along Florida’s southwest coast on Sept. 28, causing widespread destruction, power outages and a yet unknown impact in loss of life and property damage. The storm is now affecting other parts of the Southeast, including Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Hurricane Fiona struck Puerto Rico in mid-September, and even days after the storm, many there are still without power. As residents of both areas begin the recovery process, affected communities need assistance meeting basic needs including food, water, medical care and shelter.
Given the widespread impact of these storms, The Humana Foundation is donating an initial $1 million to help meet immediate relief and recovery needs. The contribution is part of the Foundation’s commitment to supporting communities in crisis through. Organizations receiving funding include , , , , and . Also, The Humana Foundation announced it will match disaster relief contributions from Humana employees up to $500 per employee. The Humana Foundation will continue to monitor Hurricane Ian and evaluate additional recovery needs.
“Caring for people and making communities more equitable is our purpose, and we’re committed to securing help and the vital resources needed for the people and communities impacted by these horrific storms,” said The Humana Foundation CEO Tiffany Benjamin. “During this difficult time and in the challenging days ahead, we’ll partner with organizations in Florida, among other areas, who sit at the focal point of delivering the care needed most.”
Beyond this donation, Humana has established a crisis intervention hotline through LifeWorks, with free counseling services for anyone — Humana members and non-members alike — who may need help and support to cope with the disaster and its consequences. The LifeWorks Crisis Support Line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be reached at 1-877-757-7587 in the United States and Puerto Rico.
In addition, Humana is in the process of checking on the safety and well-being of its employees, health plan members and the patients it serves through its primary care centers and home health operations.
“We know there’s a huge job ahead of us to recover from the hurricane’s devastation, and all of us at Humana — including our more than 10,000 employees in Florida — are ready to support our friends and neighbors in that recovery effort,” said Caraline Coats, President of Humana’s Medicare business in Florida. Coats resides in South Florida.
“For those of us who live on the Gulf Coast, this was a scary week, and it means a great deal to us to be working with the Humana Foundation to now help the people who suffered the most as the hurricane crossed our state,” added Jocelyn Chisholm Carter, President of Humana Healthy Horizons, Humana’s Medicaid business in Florida. Carter resides in Tampa. “Our message to the people we are fortunate to serve is that we will be there for you in the days ahead.”
“In Puerto Rico, many remain without power, and there is a great deal of recovery work still to be done,” said Luis Torres Olivera, President of Humana in Puerto Rico. “Humana is committed to helping our community through these tough times, and we’ve taken important actions to care for our members, employees, friends and neighbors.”
Prior to each storm, Humana also took the following steps for its health plan members in declared disaster areas:
- Waived all requirements for primary care physician (PCP) referrals and prior authorizations for members
- Provided members with the same cost-sharing they would receive from an in-network facility even if receiving care outside the network
- For members with a pharmacy benefit, suspended restrictions on refills to allow for travel difficulties and evacuations
Humana members with questions about services available to them should call the toll-free phone number on the back of their Humana ID card. (Some of the above benefit adjustments may not apply to commercial self-funded group members.)