Healthcare providers offer help to members hit by Hurricane Harvey


Healthcare providers offer help to members hit by Hurricane Harvey

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Health insurance corporations including Cigna, Aetna, Highmark Health and AmeriHealth have offered support to their health plan members affected by Hurricane Harvey in the Texas Gulf coast.

Hurricane Harvey developed into a Category 4 and made landfall near Rockport, Texas on Friday, Aug. 25. It has caused a massive damage due to the subsequent torrential rain and catastrophic flooding in the region.

The companies have expanded access to their telephone help lines to provide personal assistance and support for all residents in affected areas.

Both Cigna and Aetna have lifted prescription refill restrictions for customers in counties throughout South and Central Texas, and have also waived prior authorization requirements for acute medical care and behavioral health services in affected areas.

Aetna is also extending claim and appeal filing times. The company stated that it will work closely with providers to make further modifications to its policies as necessary to ensure members have access to care.

In coordination with Louisiana’s Department of Health, AmeriHealth Caritas Louisiana has made important temporary adjustments to its coverage policies and procedures for members living in the affected parishes – Calcasieu, Cameron, Vermilion, Jefferson Davis, and Beauregard.

The company has temporarily lifted medical prior authorization timelines and will not deny requests for late notification of medical services requiring prior authorization.

AmeriHealth announced that members who were not able to take their durable medical equipment or prescription supplies with them when evacuating their homes, or who lost those supplies due to flood damage, can obtain replacements or early refills. Also, members who need medical care services during an evacuation can obtain those services from out-of-network providers.

Moreover, Highmark Health has announced that its insurance plan members can contact or visit a participating pharmacy for prescription refills off-cycle in order to accommodate their healthcare needs. It said that the organization will work with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and local Blue Plans on additional needs as they emerge.

David Figliuzzi, executive director of the Cigna Foundation, said: "We are all saddened by the loss and devastation from Hurricane Harvey and the disruption it has caused in people’s lives. Our hearts go out to everyone in South and Central Texas affected by the hurricane and hope that this donation will help them with their recovery. We also encourage anyone affected by the hurricane to use Cigna's 24x7 telephone help line if they need support and assistance during this stressful and difficult time."

Kyle Viator, market president for AmeriHealth Caritas Louisiana, stated: "Our top priority is helping to ensure the health and safety of the members and communities we serve, and we are working with the Department of Health and our partners across the state to help ensure that our members continue to have access to needed care and services."

Cigna, Aetna, Highmark Health, AmeriHealth, Hurricane Harvey, Kyle Viator, David Figliuzzi, US