Blue Cross Extends Network, Offers Special Considerations

Aug. 31, 2016

BATON ROUGE, LA - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, the state’s largest health insurer, has relaxed some restrictions to ensure that customers affected by the recent flooding can get the healthcare, medicine and medical supplies they need. The company would also like to remind members how to get covered tetanus shots when appropriate.

“As a Louisiana company headquartered in Baton Rouge, we’ve seen first-hand the type of destruction this flood has caused, “ said President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. I. Steven Udvarhelyi. “Like so many others in our community, hundreds of our own employees are coping with the total destruction left in its wake. We want to do what we can to help.”

To help the residents of the most gravely affected parishes obtain healthcare, Blue Cross is expanding its extensive Preferred Care PPO network to provide in-network coverage to its HMO Louisiana and Community Blue members living in areas affected by the flood. The company will also allow early refills and the replacement of some medical supplies to help members in the aftermath.

Until Monday, Sept. 12, these special considerations will apply to members who live the following parishes: Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Avoyelles, Calcasieu, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline,  Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermillion, Washington, West Feliciana, West Baton Rouge.

HMO Louisiana and Community Blue members may use the larger Blue Cross Preferred Care PPO network for care if they have relocated outside of their plan’s service area or if their regular doctor’s office or clinic has been damaged. If a member cannot get to another HMO Louisiana or Community Blue provider, he or she can go to any Blue Cross provider in the Preferred Care PPO network, which is a much larger network that includes doctors, hospitals and other providers across the state and nationwide. HMO Louisiana and Community Blue members can find Preferred Care PPO providers by searching in our provider directory or in the Blue Cross mobile app. Choose “Preferred Care PPO” as the network instead.

At this time, all acute hospitals in the affected areas are fully operational and able to treat patients.

Early drug refills are available to members with Express Scripts pharmacy benefits. For a limited time, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and HMO Louisiana is offering early refills on medications for members with Express Scripts pharmacy benefits so they can get needed medications refilled early if they had to evacuate, lost their medications or have limited access to their pharmacy. Members who have trouble refilling a prescription can call the Pharmacy or Customer Service number on their ID cards, and Blue Cross and Express Scripts will facilitate the process with the pharmacy.

Members may get help replacing durable medical equipment and some additional medical supplies. If a member needs to replace their durable medical equipment or other items such as prosthetics, orthotics or hearing aids (for children under age 17) that were lost in the flood, Blue Cross will work with them to replace or repair these items. Members should ask their doctor to call Blue Cross Care Management to request a replacement or repair. Certain rules may apply.

All members must still pay their usual copayment, deductible and coinsurance for all covered healthcare and medicines. All other standard procedures are still in place. Blue Cross advises members with a true emergency, a life-threatening or serious illness or injury, to call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room without regard to network.

Tetanus Shots Covered at First Dollar. As a reminder, members who believe they may need a tetanus shot should contact their healthcare provider or nearby pharmacy that can administer the vaccine to determine if one is needed.

Fully insured Blue Cross members with Express Scripts pharmacy coverage can get the shot for $0 as part of their health plan. Members of self-funded employer groups should check with Customer Service at the number on their ID card to see if a tetanus shot is covered under their plan.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer. We are a private company, mutually owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. We are an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to improving the health and lives of all Louisianians. With our subsidiaries, HMO Louisiana and Southern National Life, we provide group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to one out of four Louisiana residents. We’re the only Louisiana insurer that offers plans in every parish. We also provide every customer with comprehensive wellness education, programs and services to help them live healthier lives. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, we have eight regional offices to serve our customers around the state.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is dedicated to transforming the healthcare industry in Louisiana into one that delivers high-quality health outcomes for our customers with top-notch service at more affordable costs. Our reputation for exceptional service and prompt payments, as well as the hard work of our 200+ in-house doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers and dietitians, keeps both customer and provider satisfaction high. Surveys by the Louisiana State Medical Society and the Louisiana Hospital Association consistently rank Blue Cross the best company providers do business with.

Blue Cross is deeply committed to the communities we serve. We invest both time and money in the health and wellbeing of Louisiana children by supporting more than 200 charitable organizations. We invite and encourage all Louisianians to visit our website or talk to us on social media through our online hub.