THOUSAND OAKS – Anthem Blue Cross (Anthem) continues taking action to help people affected by the wildfires in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties by revising medical and pharmacy guidelines that will help ensure members can access needed care and prescription medications. Anthem Blue Cross is also providing resources to access medical treatment or support via Anthem’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Anthem’s LiveHealth Online telehealth service.
For impacted members, Anthem is:
- Relaxing time limits for prior authorization, pre-certification and referral requirements.
- Suspending early refill limits for prescriptions.
- Allowing replacement of medical equipment or supplies.
- Extending filing deadlines for claims.
These medical and pharmacy guidelines are effective from November 9, 2018 until December 9, 2018, unless further extended.
In addition to members covered by Anthem’s employer group and individual plans, these relaxed medical and pharmacy guidelines also apply to consumers enrolled in Anthem’s Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and Medicare Part D plans in the three impacted counties.
These relaxed benefits benefit accommodations do not apply to Federal Employees Health Benefits Program as that program has specific guidelines.
Additionally, Anthem’s EAP provides resources that are available to all residents of Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties that have been impacted by the wild fires. Support services are available to help with emotionally stressful situations as well as with financial and legal concerns. Anthem’s EAP tools will be offered at no cost and will be available 24/7 through the EAP crisis line by visiting anthemeap.com and using the login code “cawildfires.”
Consumers who need medical or psychological service can also access LiveHealth Online, Anthem’s 24/7 telehealth service, via the LiveHealth Online app and website at livehealthonline.com
. LiveHealth Online offers video visits with U.S.-based board certified doctors and psychologists on a mobile device or computer from anywhere for non-emergency health conditions. Anyone in California who downloads the mobile app or visits livehealthonline.com and registers will be able to visit with a doctor for free by selecting the “Help for Wildfires Medical” practice. The free visit offer will be available through December 31, 2018.
The Anthem Foundation has also partnered with the American Red Cross as a $1 million-level member of the Annual Disaster Giving Program, as well as providing grants to organizations such as AmeriCares, Direct Relief and Portlight Strategies, Inc. to support impacted residents. The Anthem Foundation will donate $25,000 to the United Way of Northern California to support the NorCal Fire Relief Fund and $25,000 to the United Way of Ventura County to support 2-1-1 services.
For individuals eligible for Medicare enrollment, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced an extension of time within which Medicare beneficiaries may enroll, dis-enroll, or switch Medicare Advantage plans. This extension runs from December 8, 2018 through March 31, 2019 for beneficiaries impacted by the recent California wildfires. It is approved by CMS and is known as a Special Election Period (SEP). Consumers with questions about this SEP can call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
For additional questions, members should call the phone number on the back of their membership card or 888-831-2238 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT, or on weekends 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. PT.