5 payer responses to Hurricane Irma

Several national health insurers pledged assistance before and in the wake of Hurricane Irma's landfall.

Here are five insurer initiatives to bring disaster relief to affected policyholders and nonmember residents.

1. Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna is offering early prescription refills or alternative medication delivery services to members affected by Hurricane Irma in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and select Georgia counties. The payer is also extending claim and appeal filing deadlines. The Aetna Foundation will donate $100,000 to the American Red Cross.

2. Indianapolis-based Anthem is providing free visits through its 24/7 telehealth service, LiveHealth Online, to members and nonmembers affected by Hurricane Irma. In addition, the payer allowed affected members to visit either in-network or out-of-network physicians or service providers.

3. For Bloomfield, Conn.-based Cigna policyholders in Florida, the insurer lifted prescription refill restrictions and mail-order requirements, as well as waived preauthorization for acute medical and behavioral health services. The payer opened its 24/7 telephone help line to any affected Florida residents, free of cost, through Oct. 15. 

4. Louisville, Ky.-based Humana's philanthropic division will give $1 million to the American Red Cross to assist Hurricane Irma recovery initiatives.

5. Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group, and its subsidiaries UnitedHealthcare and Optum, donated $1 million to support Hurricane Irma relief efforts. The payer is waiving preauthorization for medical treatment and allowing affected members to receive care at out-of-network facilities. 

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