Older adults are disproportionally impacted by oppressive heat
NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- As temperatures rise across the country, Cigna will provide its Medicare Advantage customers rides to community cooling centers to safely find relief from the heat. Any Medicare Advantage customer with a transportation benefit can now use this service throughout the summer at no extra cost.
"Older adults tend to be more susceptible to heat-related conditions, often because they have pre-existing medical conditions or take prescription or over-the-counter drugs that limit the body's ability to control its temperature," said Joseph B. "J.B." Sobel, M.D., chief medical officer, Cigna Medicare. "Cigna is committed to helping older adults stay safe and healthy, and free rides to cooling centers is one important way to avoid preventable heat-related illnesses this summer."
More than 650 people in the United States die each year from heat-related illnesses, with the majority being people who are aged 65 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some additional risk factors include living alone and being without access to air conditioning.
Cigna Medicare Advantage customers can now use their same-day transportation benefits for rides to a community cooling center or other public locations with air conditioning, such as a library or senior center, in addition to doctor's appointments, the pharmacy, or to receive COVID-19 vaccines or boosters. To schedule a ride, customers or caregivers should call the number on the back of their customer ID card.
During heat emergencies and summer power outages, Cigna advises family members to check on their older loved ones, neighbors, and seniors in their community. To learn more about weather-related resources available in your area, such as utility assistance, visit https://cignacommunity.findhelp.com/ and enter your ZIP code. For tips on how older adults can cope with summer's heat, go to https://newsroom.cigna.com/tips-for-protecting-older-adults-during-summer-heat.
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