Help for members impacted by wildfires
This communication applies to the Commercial, Medicaid, and Medicare Advantage programs from Anthem Blue Cross (Anthem).
We are making temporary changes to health plan benefits to provide relief for members who live in California and are impacted by current wildfire emergencies. The changes are in effect for:
- Riverside, El Dorado, and Placer counties from September 8, 2022, through October 7, 2022.
- Siskiyou County from September 2, 2022, through October 1, 2022.
The changes also apply to emergency responders who have been activated to an impacted area by their state or local agency, but who do not live in the impacted area.
For assistance during this emergency, members may call us at 833-285-4030. We are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. We can help with finding available doctors, refilling prescription drugs, and other health plan questions.
Emergency or urgent care:
- Members can receive emergency or urgent care from any doctor or hospital, even if they are not in their plan’s network. We will pay the claims as if they are in their plan’s network.
- If the members’ doctor’s office or healthcare facility is closed because of the emergency or if they are unable to travel there, they can call us at 833-285-4030. We can help members find another doctor.
- If members are in a care management program and need to reach them, they can call 833-285-4030.
- If the member’s Anthem plan covers their prescription medications, they can receive up to a 30-day emergency refill at any pharmacy now, even if it’s not in their plan’s network.
- If members use Anthem’s mail-order pharmacy and their address changed, they can call us at 833-285-4030 so we can make sure to send their medicine to the right place.
Medical equipment that is lost or damaged:
- We can help members replace their equipment, also called durable medical equipment or DME. Members can call us at 833-285-4030.
Eyeglasses or contact lenses that are lost or damaged:
- We can help members replace their eyeglasses or contact lenses. Members can call us at 833-285-4030.
Prior authorizations or referrals:
- Members have more time to request them. There won’t be any late fees. Members can call 833-285-4030 if they need an extension.
Filing a claim:
- Members and their doctors have more time to file claims. They can call us at 833-285-4030 if they need an extension.
Mental health or other additional support:
- Anthem’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers mental health support, as well as resources on our website to help with legal and financial concerns and dependent-care needs. Call the EAP crisis line 24/7 at 877-208-8240 or go to anthemeap.com and use the log in EAP Can Help.
Health plan premiums:
- If a member received a bill directly from Anthem for your monthly insurance premium and are experiencing financial difficulties because of the emergency, they have more time to pay their bill. Members can call us at 833-285-4030 to discuss options.
The time period for updated support and care may change based on the conditions. Check back here for updates.
These changes are for members with Anthem group health plans through their employers, Anthem individual and family plans, Medi-Cal, or Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, or Medicare Supplement plans. These changes are not for Federal Employee Health Benefit Plans, which have their own guidelines.
If members need additional support, please call us at 833-285-4030.
For additional support during the wildfires, check these state resources:
- California Department of Public Health Wildfire Information
- California Office of Emergency Services: Wildfire Recovery Health Information
- CAL FIRE: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
- California Governor's Office of Emergency Services | California's Emergency Services Leader
October 2022 Anthem Blue Cross Provider News - California