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Local Missouri Health Plan Outlines Emergency Protocols For Getting Care

Thursday, May 26, 2011 General News J E 4
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JOPLIN, Mo., May 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ozark Health Plan, a local Medicare Advantage health plan serving seniors in some of the regions hardest hit by the tornado that struck Missouri, released important emergency information today for health plan members affected by the tornado.

"We want to help members with any concerns they face during a state of emergency," says Robert Fahlman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Arcadian Health, the parent company of Ozark Health Plan. "We understand the stress this puts on our members, their caretakers and their communities – and want to ensure they are prepared and confident about their care during this time."

According to Ray Blaylock, Vice President, Network Management of Ozark Health Plan, there are procedures in place to help members with pressing health concerns in a state of emergency, including getting urgent/emergency care, filling prescriptions and replacing lost insurance information.

To receive medical care: Ozark Health Plan members who are unable to access their in-network physicians, hospitals and pharmacies can use out-of-network doctors, hospitals and pharmacies. Members only have to pay the normal in-network rate during the emergency period. In some instances, they may have to ask for reimbursement from the plan for out-of-area or out-of-network services received.

"If members are in any need of medical care during an emergency, we advise them to seek assistance from the nearest urgent or emergency care facility or provider until the time that the disaster is declared over," says Ray Blaylock. Members in designated disaster areas have special rights such as seeing any doctor that accepts Medicare patients, even if their health care need isn't an emergency.

To replace prescription medication: Members who are missing prescription medications (or do not have prescription information readily available) can contact Member Services from 8:00 a.m.8:00 p.m., Sunday – Saturday at 1-800-573-8597 (TTY/TDD 1-866-573-8591). Customer Service Representatives will help the member identify which medications are currently being taken and will contact an accessible pharmacy to fill the prescription(s).

Members also have other special rights during this time, including refilling their prescription medications sooner than under normal circumstances. Also, most prescriptions can be transferred from one network pharmacy to another and transferred back to the member's pharmacy when the emergency ends – including transferring prescriptions across state lines when necessary.

To replace lost insurance information and plan ID cards: Ozark Health Plan members can simply call Member Services to request a new identification card. They will need to provide the address to where the card should be sent. In the meantime, doctors, hospitals and pharmacies should call the health plan directly for member eligibility information.

"Our members may be more vulnerable in a natural disaster and less able to respond quickly to rapidly changing situations," explains Ray Blaylock. "When we arm them with the proper information, especially on how to seek help when they need it, we decrease the likelihood that a member's health will be negatively impacted by this situation."

Ozark Health Plan members can reach Member Services from 8:00 a.m.8:00 p.m., Sunday – Saturday at 1-800-573-8597 (TTY/TDD 1-866-573-8591).

Ozark Health Plan, an affiliate of Arcadian Health, is a community-based network, providing coordinated care to Medicare beneficiaries in 18 Missouri counties – including Barry, Cedar, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Douglas, Greene, Jasper, Laclede, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton, Polk, Pulaski, Stone, Taney, Webster, and Wright.

About Arcadian Health: Arcadian Health, founded in 1997, provides Medicare Advantage coverage through its affiliates in the following 15 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington. The plans are offered under the following local product names: Arcadian Community Care (Louisiana and California), Arcadian Health Plan (Oklahoma), Arkansas Community Care, Columbia Community Care, Desert Canyon Community Care (Arizona), Ozark Health Plan, Northeast Community Care (Maine and New York), Southeast Community Care (Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia), Spokane Community Care, Texarkana Community Care and Texas Community Care. For more information about Arcadian Health, visit

http://www.arcadianhealth.com.

ARCADIAN HEALTH PLANMEDIA CONTACT: Bridget Harper510.817.1016 | bharper@arcadianhealth.com

SOURCE Arcadian Health

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