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CarePlus Health Plans Shares Five Steps Seniors Can Take to Protect Their Health this Hurricane Season

COVID-19 presents new challenges and makes advance preparation even more critical for what experts are saying will be an above average hurricane season

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Tuesday, May 26, 2020 1:00 pm EDT

Dateline:

MIAMI
"Planning for hurricane season is always important, especially for seniors with medical conditions like diabetes or COPD, and this year poses new challenges so we all need to prepare now"

MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CarePlus Health Plans, Inc., Florida’s largest1 5-star Medicare Advantage plan, is encouraging Floridians, and particularly seniors with chronic medical conditions, to take action now to protect their health during the 2020 Hurricane Season which is being complicated due to COVID-19 and predicted to be above average.

“Planning for hurricane season is always important, especially for seniors with medical conditions like diabetes or COPD, and this year poses new challenges so we all need to prepare now,” said CarePlus Vice President of Health Services Dr. Madeleine Rodriguez. “We certainly don’t want to add stress to a population in Florida already feeling vulnerable during COVID-19. By taking action now, you can more easily rest assured that you and your family will stay safe and healthy this hurricane season.”

According to Dr. Rodriguez, in addition to stocking up on basic supplies like water, flashlights, batteries and non-perishable foods, those actions should include these five steps:

  1. Prepare your emergency kit with flashlights, face masks, food, first aid supplies, hand sanitizer, medicines and more. Include copies of your health insurance cards, identification cards, doctors and pharmacy contact information and medication details. People living with diabetes should include blood glucose testing supplies including lancets, test strips, at least two glucose meters with extra batteries, and a cooler with multiple re-freezable packs. If possible, avoid crowds at the store by using a delivery service.
  2. Take advantage of 30- to 90-day mail order pharmacy services from your health benefits provider to ensure you don’t run out of medicine if businesses are closed or you are away from home.
  3. To avoid forgetting critical medical equipment during emergency evacuations, make a list of what you would need to take with you, such as a cane, walker, glasses, insulin, and hearing aids and batteries.
  4. If you or a loved one require power to operate medical equipment – such as oxygen, nebulizers or sleep apnea masks – be sure to secure a generator or alternate power source early in the season to avoid scrambling for this equipment right before the storm.
  5. Pre-register for a Special Needs Shelter. Special Needs Shelters are temporary emergency facilities capable of providing care to residents whose medical condition exceeds the capabilities of the Red Cross Shelter but is not severe enough to require hospitalization. Be sure to pre-register by contacting your county emergency management office now so you can secure a spot in the shelter during an emergency.

“It’s also important that people who need to evacuate bring at least two protective face masks in order to help protect against virus spread,” said Dr. Rodriguez. “Although seniors in Florida have been advised to stay home to avoid exposure to COVID-19, a hurricane headed for your home may pose a much more serious risk. Having people in shelters wear face masks when possible offers more protection.”

Dr. Rodriguez said CarePlus is mailing bilingual care kits, in English and Spanish, containing two protective face masks to each of its 157,000 members and nearly 1,000 employees.

For more information about preparing for hurricane season during COVID-19, and how to protect yourself and others in a public shelter, visit cdc.gov.

About CarePlus Health Plans

CarePlus Health Plans, Inc., a recognized leader in health care delivery, has been in operation in the state of Florida for 20 years. CarePlus is committed to enriching the health care experience for consumers and business partners through the provision of Medicare Advantage HMO health plans. With corporate offices in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville and the Space Coast, the company offers a broad choice of Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans to approximately 157,000 Medicare Advantage members located throughout Florida. More information is available at www.careplushealthplans.com.

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Contact:

Nancy A. Hanewinckel
Humana Corporate Communications
941-585-4763
nhanewinckel1@humana.com

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