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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri Announces $50,000 Donation to Red Cross for Tornado Relief

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 General News J E 4
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Health plan offers hotline number for free counseling to affected residents, waiver or grace period on premiums and other member services

ST. LOUIS, May 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- To help residents of Joplin/Jasper County recover and rebuild after the recent tornado, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri and its parent company foundation have granted $50,000 to the American Red Cross for disaster relief. The funds will be used by the Red Cross to provide supplies, medical assistance and comfort to Missourians impacted by the May 22 tornado.

Additionally, residents in the affected area may obtain free counseling and referral services for a 30-day period, an employee assistance program normally offered to members of the health plan.

Anthem members of group, senior and individual plans who lost their homes will have their premiums waived for 60 days. Anthem also is extending a 60-day grace period on premium payments to all members in the area, allowing copay waiver and early refill of prescriptions if necessary, waiver of preauthorization and precertification approvals, free replacement of durable medical equipment and supplies, and access to in-network benefits at nearby hospitals and physician offices that currently are not part of the Anthem provider networks.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow Missourians who lost loved ones, homes and businesses in these deadly storms," said Dennis Matheis, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri.  "While no amount of financial assistance can ever erase the pain and suffering caused by storms such as these, we are pleased to be able to contribute to relief efforts through our donation to the Red Cross.

"We believe that employees who staff our hotline will provide useful counseling and advice to residents. Our waiver and grace period on premiums and early prescription refill and copay waivers should help our members at this difficult time. We also have streamlined processes to help members who need to replace medical equipment or obtain access to care."

  • The Anthem Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is offering free counseling and referral services by telephone for the next 30 days to all residents throughout the impacted area. Services include access to a website and consultations by telephone with professional counselors. The EAP program is available 24 hours a day by calling toll free 1-800-765-4446 or visit our website at http://www.anthemeap.com/ and use password "tornado."  
  • Premium payment will be waived for 60 days for Anthem members in group, senior and individual plans who have lost their homes in Joplin/Jasper County.
  • Members of Anthem's group, individual, FEP and senior plans living in Joplin/Jasper County will receive a grace period of 60 days on premium payments due in late May and June. If members have questions about their premium payment status, they should call the customer service number on the back of their Member ID card, and if they do not have their card, they should call 1-800-492-2057.
  • Joplin/Jasper County members of group, senior, individual and FEP plans who need early prescription refills due to missing prescriptions may do so without penalty. Copayments are being waived. Area pharmacies have been notified.  
  • As both major health systems in Joplin have been forced to cease or limit services, Anthem members in the affected area may use their in-network benefits at nearby hospitals and physician offices that currently are not in the Anthem provider networks.
  • Precertification and preauthorization approvals will be waived for benefits covered by health plans. Members in the Joplin/Jasper County area and their health care professionals do not need to contact Anthem for these approvals at this difficult time, but may do so for benefit information.  
  • Anthem is replacing durable medical equipment and supplies that have been lost by members in the disaster area at no charge.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri

In Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area) Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name for RightCHOICE® Managed Care, Inc. (RIT), Healthy Alliance® Life Insurance Company (HALIC), and HMO Missouri, Inc. RIT and certain affiliates administer non-HMO benefits underwritten by HALIC and HMO benefits underwritten by HMO Missouri, Inc. RIT and certain affiliates only provide administrative services for self-funded plans and do not underwrite benefits. Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at  www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation

Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Anthem's inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company's annual associate giving campaign and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates' campaign pledges. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. To learn more about the Foundation please visit www.wellpointfoundation.org.

SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri

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