Florida Blue, the state's Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, has announced today it will invest $7 million into its community for COVID-19 relief, more than tripling its initial donation.
Earlier this year, the insurer donated $2 million to local organizations dealing with the pandemic.
WHY IT MATTERS
This funding will help local Floridians recover from the widespread impact of the pandemic.
The company will put an additional $2.5 million into providing testing, care, food and other essentials to locals. The company is also going to contribute over $2.6 million to Florida-based United Way organizations.
Florida Blue will distribute $1 million of the additional funding to provide COVID-19 testing and access to healthcare for underserved Floridians to be determined through its partnerships with the Florida Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers and others.
More than $1.3 million of the funds will go towards food security for seniors, children and disadvantaged families, as well as supporting mental health services for those impacted by the pandemic.
The company is also creating a three-year grant worth $220,000 for the University of Florida Health to provide technology for the development of pooled tests. This form of COVID-19 testing lets more people be tested for less money, Florida Blue said by statement.
THE LARGER TREND
This isn't the first time Florida Blue has announced COVID-19 aid.
The insurer recently provided $150 million into programs that reduce member's monthly insurance bills, supply gift cards for out-of-pocket health care expenses, and give premium reductions to fully insured employer groups.
In addition, Florida Blue waived cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment and began offering virtual health care options for its members.
In the wake of the pandemic, many organizations have pledged their financial support. Earlier this week, Anthem announced it would provide funds for COVID-19 recovery efforts to its members. The Department of Health and Human Services awarded $100 million to help medical centers across the country cover their expenses, as well.
ON THE RECORD
"The lives of Floridians have been upended for months as we grapple with the fallout of the COVID-19 health crisis. As we work toward reopening our communities, Florida Blue is collaborating with business and community leaders to ensure all communities have adequate access to testing and other essential services and resources," said Pat Geraghty, Florida Blue president and CEO.
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