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Help for Members Impacted by Wild Fires in California

October 30, 2019
We’re taking steps to help our California members and emergency personnel impacted by wild fires. If you live anywhere in California, here’s what you should know:
  • If you have an Anthem prescription drug plan you can get up to a 30-day emergency refill of their medications at any pharmacy now. 
  • If you use Anthem’s mail-order pharmacy you can update your temporary mailing address by calling us.
  • Time limits for prior authorization, pre-certification or referral requirements will be relaxed — there will be no late penalties. Please call us for an extension if you need it.
  • You can get replacement medical equipment (also called Durable Medical Equipment or DME) if yours was lost or damaged.
  • You and your doctors are being given more time to file claims, if needed. Please call us for an extension if you need it.
  • You can get emergency or urgent care services by doctors and hospitals, even if they’re not in your plan network — and claims will be paid as if they’re in your network.
  • If your in-network provider is unavailable due to the disaster, or not available because you are out of the area due to a displacement as a result of the disaster, please call us and we will help you find a new provider.
  • If you are currently participating in a care management program, and need to reach them, please contact Anthem toll-free at (833) 285-4030.
  • If you receive a bill directly from Anthem for your monthly insurance premium and are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the disaster, please call us to discuss options.
  • Members with Anthem Blue View Vision can contact us at (833) 285-4030 to request the following:
    • Out of network coverage at in-network benefit levels for emergent and urgent claims only
    • Replacement vision supplies if yours are lost or damaged (beyond frequency limits)
    • More time to file claims, if needed
  • Anthem’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides support services to help you with stressful situations and financial or legal concerns. You can access EAP at no cost. Call our 24/7 crisis line toll-free at (877) 208-8240.
These relaxed guidelines were previously effective from October 11, 2019 through November 10, 2019 for impacted members in Los Angeles and Sonoma counties. Effective October 25, 2019 through December 2, 2019 the relaxed guidelines are extended to impacted members who live in any part of California. This time period may change depending on conditions. Please check back here for updates. They apply to members with Anthem group or individual and family health plans. They do not apply to Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan members, Medi-Cal, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Part D plans - these programs have their own specific guidelines..
If you need additional support, call us toll-free at (833) 285-4030.
Questions and Answers:
Q: What if I lose a medication due to lack of refrigeration/power?
A: We will allow a refill of your medication and will help you get an override for that. Most medications that require refrigeration can be kept cold in ice chests (insulated coolers packed with ice cubes) or in the refrigerator after power shutoff for short periods of time (consult your pharmacist).
Q: My procedure was cancelled due to no electricity at the facility and now I need a new authorization?
A: We will assist you to get an updated Prior Authorization.
Q: I needed to have a procedure done, but my normal facility had no power so I went to an out of network facility and now my claim has been denied. What can I do?
A: If this was due to the Public Safety Power Shutoff and was an urgent situation, we can have this claim adjusted to allow at a higher network level. If you receive services from an out of network provider, you could be responsible for the difference between what Anthem allows and what the provider has charged. 
Q: I have a family member/friend (or myself) who is in a skilled nursing facility, what happens?
A: Many skilled nursing facilities have emergency backup generators.  If they don’t and you or your family member requires medical services/machines that operate on electricity, the skilled nursing facility will typically make the appropriate transfer arrangements. Should there be any questions about approvals, please contact us.
Q: How can I find more information about power outages?
A: You can find details on your utility company website. Make sure to update your contact information with your utility company so they can reach you with notifications about power outages.