Pharmacy benefit management companies and health benefit plans at
WellPoint (NYSE: WLP) today announced revised medical and pharmacy
guidelines to help members who are directly impacted by Hurricane
Katrina. The revised guidelines will help members quickly access
needed medical care and prescription drugs in the wake of the
devastation caused by last week’s hurricane.
Members affected by the hurricane should seek medical assistance
wherever it is available and have their medications refilled at any
pharmacy or shipped to them at an alternative address. In addition,
all providers caring for affected members will be considered
“in-network” providers and affected members will not be required to
satisfy prior authorization, pre-certification or referral
requirements during this time.
These revisions apply to affected members who were living in
Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi at the time of the hurricane and
who are covered by the following plans:
* Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado, Connecticut,
Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia
* Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia
* Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri
* Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin
* Blue Cross of California
* Anthem Prescription Management
* WellPoint Prescription Management
Effective immediately, for the affected members, the health
* Suspending requirements for prior authorization and
* Suspending requirements for authorization or referral from a
* Allowing the affected members to see any physician necessary
access to care.
* Paying all claims as in-network, regardless of whether or not
health care provider is in network.
* Suspending early refill limits and shipping prescriptions to
* Waiving co-payments for prescriptions.
* Suspending utilization management (UM) review of in-hospital
For additional questions, members should call the phone number on
the back of their membership card. If they do not have their card,
they should call 1-866-800-8776 beginning Thursday, September 8.
These medical and pharmacy guidelines are effective through
September 30, 2005. At that time, it will be determined if these
guidelines need to be extended.
WellPoint is also extending its Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to
any medical member currently enrolled in one of its plans without
EAP services. EAP includes 24-hour phone counseling for trauma and
grief as well as a database of disaster recovery centers and
referrals to other resources that may be of help to members. Members
may take advantage of this service by calling (800) 999-7222.
About WellPoint, Inc.
WellPoint, Inc. is the largest publicly traded commercial health
benefits company in terms of membership in the United States.
WellPoint, Inc. is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and
Blue Shield Association and serves its members as the Blue Cross
licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for
Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri
(excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New
Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs
of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through HealthLink and UniCare.
Additional information about WellPoint is available at