Healthy Blue offers support and relief to Louisiana residents and communities impacted by Hurricane Laura

In response to devastation caused by Hurricane Laura, Healthy Blue, along with its affiliated Foundation, have launched several support and relief efforts to help its members, communities and Louisiana residents in impacted areas.

Relaxed Member Benefit and Pharmacy Guidelines

To help ensure Healthy Blue members have access to essential prescription medications and other health-related services, Healthy Blue has revised its medical and pharmacy guidelines. The following guidelines are effective August 28 through and including September 27, 2020, or until further notice.

  • Prescription Refills: Healthy Blue has suspended early refill limits for prescriptions and is allowing a 30-day emergency prescription refill of maintenance medication for impacted members, including emergency personnel who are members not residing in the impacted areas.
  • Network Providers: Healthy Blue is allowing impacted members to access out-of-network providers if an in-network provider is unavailable due to Hurricane Laura, or if the member is out of the area due to displacement.
  • Durable Medical Equipment: Healthy Blue is allowing impacted members to request replacement of durable medical equipment and supplies.
  • Medical Necessity Reviews: Healthy Blue is relaxing prior authorization requirements for members in the impacted areas.
  • These relaxed guidelines apply to Healthy Blue members living throughout the State of Louisiana. These revised guidelines also apply to any emergency personnel who are Healthy Blue members in Louisiana.

Healthy Blue’s customer service representatives are also actively taking calls from members who need help accessing services, understanding benefits, replacing ID cards and more. Louisiana members can call the following numbers for assistance:

  • Healthy Blue customer service at 1-844-521-6941 (TTY 711)
  • Healthy Blue 24-hour behavioral health crisis line if you or a family member are having a mental health or substance use crisis can call 1-844-812-2280
  • Healthy Blue’s 24-hour nurse help line, seven days a week, at 1-866-864-2544 (TTY 711)
  • Additional Supports for Impacted Louisiana Residents

In addition to the member supports mentioned above, Healthy Blue is extending help to all Louisiana residents who have been impacted by Hurricane Laura. These supports include the following:

American Red Cross Shelter and Supports: Through a Foundation grant at the $1M level to the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program, Healthy Blue and its affiliated Foundation are helping the American Red Cross mobilize in Louisiana to prepare shelter and other supports for Louisianans facing disaster. As needs arise, American Red Cross will offer overnight shelter stays, meals, relief items, contacts for individual care and other support through disaster workers.

Direct Relief Medical Supplies: Direct Relief is using Healthy Blue and its affiliated Foundation funding to provide medical inventories to health centers and clinics in impacted areas of the state. Direct Relief has staged emergency medical supplies with health facilities across Louisiana. Supply kits include essential medications commonly requested after a disaster, and relied upon to keep patients with chronic medical conditions out of emergency rooms.

To address the immediate needs of impacted communities, Healthy Blue and its affiliated Foundation provided more than $155,000 across the following organizations for response and recovery efforts to help areas of greatest need for food insecurity, housing, healthcare and support services:

  • American Red Cross
  • Mental Health America
  • Portlight Strategies
  • Direct Relief
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana
  • United Way of Southwest Louisiana
  • Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana
  • Southwest Louisiana Center for Health Services

“Second Harvest has responded to many natural disasters over the years, but we’ve never seen our communities impacted so endlessly. It’s devastating to witness our neighbors, who are already struggling with the everyday disaster of hunger, having to also battle the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and now the destruction caused by Hurricane Laura,” said Natasha Curley, communications specialist, Second Harvest Food Bank. “Healthy Blue’s support comes at a time when it is needed more than ever. From the Second Harvest team and our communities, we thank you.”

“We are extremely grateful to Healthy Blue and their affiliated Foundation for their generous donation to support SWLA Center for Health Services’ Community Recovery Center,” said JayVon Muhammad, CEO, SWLA Center for Health Services. “This donation will help us continue to support the Lake Charles community as it recovers from the effects of Hurricane Laura. We are SWLA strong!”

Healthy Blue has also sent tote bags, stress balls, and other supplies to affected areas, and will continue to monitor community needs.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to provide the necessary resources to our local communities and will continue to stand with them as we work through these difficult times,” said Aaron Lambert, president, Healthy Blue. “We remain focused on fostering deeper relationships and developing real-time solutions to meet critical needs for the local community. Healthy Blue is committed to convenient, accessible and affordable healthcare access, especially for those who have been significantly impacted by the devastation caused by Hurricane Laura. Healthy Blue recognizes the importance of working with our members, providers and partners to further our commitment to improve lives and communities.”

Healthy Blue and its affiliated Foundation have partnered with dozens of Louisiana nonprofit organizations to support emergency response, food access, personal protective equipment supplies, education, affordable housing, and virtual programming. Since the beginning of the year, Healthy Blue and its affiliated Foundation have committed nearly $700,000 to support Louisiana communities.

Healthy Blue and its affiliated Foundation continue to work with national partners including Feeding America, the American Red Cross, United Way, Americares, Direct Relief and numerous others to ensure access to emergency assistance for individuals and families.

Healthy Blue will continue to announce updates and resources that can help provide increased access to food and care, and alleviate the added stress on individuals, families and the community. For more information about Healthy Blue services, benefits and contacts, visit www.myhealthybluela.com.

About Healthy Blue

Healthy Blue is a managed healthcare provider that has been serving the state since 2012, and currently serves the state’s Medicaid, Medicaid Expansion and LaCHIP programs, and recently includes D-SNP Medicare services. Healthy Blue, a joint venture between Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Healthy Blue’s parent company, Anthem, Inc., recognizes the challenges low-income and underserved individuals face, and tailors its programs such that health plan members are assured care that is not only accessible, but also accountable, comprehensive, integrated and patient-centered. Healthy Blue provides ongoing community relations and outreach to encourage members to become active participants in their healthcare. Also, through health education programs, members are empowered to choose and sustain healthy lifestyles. To learn more about Healthy Blue, visit www.myhealthybluela.com.

About Anthem Foundation

The Anthem Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the organization’s commitment to improving lives and communities. Through strategic partnerships and programs, the Foundation addresses the social drivers that will help create a healthier generation of Americans in communities that Anthem, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Foundation focuses its funding on critical initiatives that make up its Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets: maternal health, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention, heart health and healthy, active lifestyles, behavioral health efforts and programs that benefit people with disabilities. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Dollars for Dollars program which provides a 100 percent match of associates’ donations, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. To learn more about the Anthem Foundation, please visit http://www.anthem.foundation and its blog at https://medium.com/anthemfoundation.