JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In support of residents of the Florida Panhandle who continue to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, Florida Blue, the leading health insurer in the state, has increased its financial commitment to the recovery effort to $500,000. The company pledged $100,000 immediately after the storm hit, but as reports surfaced of ongoing devastation and continued lack of resources, and after visiting the Panhandle with members of his leadership team, Florida Blue CEO Pat Geraghty authorized the increased level of financial support in an effort to help hasten the region's recovery. "While the storm itself has passed, the suffering felt by residents in Northwest Florida will have a lasting impact," Geraghty said. "Our employees, members, friends and families have all been affected by this terrible storm. We are committed to doing all we can to aid in the recovery while helping to bring a sense of normalcy back to the community we serve." Additionally, the company is preparing 1,000 Florida Blue care packages containing food, utensils, toiletry items, detergent, trash bags, a first-aid kit and other items. Each box is intended to sustain two adults for seven days. The care packages will be assembled by Florida Blue employees in Jacksonville and delivered to the region. Florida Blue also is offering the following health services to residents of impacted areas: With some hospitals closed or damaged and mobility difficult, Florida Blue has expanded health care services for members within the impacted area. Members can seek help at any facility and will be covered at the in-network level. The company also has suspended referral and prior authorization requirements for a number of services. For non-emergency injuries and illnesses, any resident of an evacuation zone who has online or phone access can receive free online or telephonic care from a medical professional 24 hours/day through Teladoc. Residents can visit www.teladoc.com/Michael or call the hotline at 855-764-1727. No insurance is required. A free bilingual help line for emotional support, available 24 hours/day at 833-848-1762. Florida Blue, in partnership with New Directions Behavioral Health, is offering the support line for both English and Spanish speakers. No insurance is required. For Florida Blue members residing in counties under a state of emergency, early refills on maintenance medications are available at in-network pharmacies in Florida. In affected areas of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, early refills may be requested at pharmacies on a case-by-case basis. For questions about early refills for prescriptions that require prior authorization, members should contact Florida Blue at the number on their member ID card or call 1-800-FLA-BLUE (1-800-352-2583). For round-the-clock information about benefits, providers and more, Florida Blue members with internet access can log into their account at www.floridablue.com or download the Florida Blue mobile app. Additionally, affected residents can register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for assistance by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or going online to www.disasterassistance.gov. About Florida Blue Florida Blue, Florida's Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, has been providing health insurance to residents of Florida for nearly 75 years. Driven by its mission of helping people and communities achieve better health, the company serves more than 5 million health care members across the state. In total, Florida Blue and its affiliated companies serve 16 million people in 29 states. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., it is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.