Aetna Mobilizes Volunteers and Other Efforts to Help in Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Aetna (NYSE: AET) is mobilizing its nationwide force of employee volunteers to reach into affected communities with assistance for those in need. Aetna also is reaching out to particularly vulnerable members in affected areas to see if help is needed, and helping consumers determine which hospitals in storm-torn areas are operational.
Outreach to vulnerable members
- Aetna's specialty pharmacy team is reaching out to members who were expecting shipments of specialty or biotech medications used to treat chronic diseases. As needed, Aetna is redirecting shipments to alternate locations where members have evacuated, authorizing replacement prescriptions at retail pharmacies or hospital outpatient pharmacies that are operational, providing advice on the stability of medications that may have been unrefrigerated for a period of time, and other special issues.
- Aetna is also attempting to reach members in nurse care management programs who are homebound with special needs like those who depend on home nursing visits to make sure they are getting the care they need.
Policy changes to ease access to care
On Monday, Aetna announced other assistance through changes to its health policies to make it easier for members affected by Hurricane Sandy to:
- Refill prescriptions or replace lost medications;
- Access employee assistance and behavioral health programs;
- File claims and appeals by extending filing times; and
- Help members who evacuated find care outside their home areas, among other steps.
Given the extent of storm damage, Aetna now also is:
- Covering non-emergency ambulance transport of members in affected areas who need to be moved between health care facilities to get the care they need; and
- Expediting or extending medical authorizations for members.
Help finding the status of hospitals
In an effort to give all consumers the best information for their emergency health needs, the free iTriage mobile app was immediately updated with information about the operational status of hospitals, including those temporarily closed due to storm damage. iTriage, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aetna, is one of the most popular and highly rated (4.5 out of 5 stars) consumer healthcare mobile apps in the market today with more than 7.5 million mobile device downloads.
Volunteering in communities with relief efforts
Aetna also is working to find other tangible ways of supporting relief efforts. For example:
- Aetna has activated its 54 Volunteer Councils in 46 cities across the country to engage with relief agencies and support the collection of goods and funds; participate in emergency blood drives; and other assistance; and
- The Aetna Foundation, Aetna's charitable giving arm, is providing a total of $100,000 in charitable grants to the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, AmeriCares, and the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, and the Aetna Foundation will match employee donations dollar-for-dollar to those agencies or any qualified disaster relief organization.
Important phone numbers
Aetna members and health care providers who need assistance can reach the company at the following toll-free numbers.
- Aetna Member Services: Call the number printed on your ID card*. If ID card is unavailable, call 1-800-443-AETNA (1-800-443-2386)
- Aetna Specialty Pharmacy Customer Service: 1-866-782-ASRX (1-866-782-2779)
- Aetna Rx Home Delivery Customer Service: 1-888-RX AETNA (1-888-792-3862)
- Aetna Employee Assistance Program: 1-888-AETNA-EAP (1-888-238-6232)
- Aetna Dental: 1-877-238-6200
Health care providers should contact the Provider Service Centers:
- Indemnity and PPO-based benefit plans: 1-888-MD-Aetna (1-888-632-3862)
- HMO benefit plans: 1-800-624-0756
- Pharmacy provider help line: 1-800-AETNA RX (1-800-238-6279)
* Replacement ID cards and access to a Personal Health Record (PHR) can be found on Aetna Navigator™: http://www.aetna.com/index.htm
Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 37.3 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services and health information technology services. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.