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Blue Shield of California Streamlines Access to Benefits and Prescriptions for Wildfire Victims
Date:9/3/2009

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Shield of California announced today that it will be ensuring expedited access to needed prescriptions and mental health services for Blue Shield members impacted by the fires in Southern California.

"During this taxing and difficult time, we want to make it as easy as possible for people impacted by the wildfires to continue to have uninterrupted access to the medical services they need," said Meredith Mathews, M.D., chief medical officer of Blue Shield of California.

Blue Shield members who have been affected by the wildfires will be able to access essential services in an expedited manner. These services include:

  • Prescription Medication. Members who evacuated their homes and have left medications behind due to the fires, or who have had their medications destroyed by fire, will be covered for early prescription refills at retail pharmacies.
  • Mental Health Services. To help members obtain covered behavioral health care services such as counseling and consultations, Blue Shield will temporarily allow affected members to access appropriate out-of-network providers if in-network providers are unavailable due to the fires.

As conditions warrant, Blue Shield will implement other measures as needed to minimize disruptions for members. Members can find the latest information at www.blueshieldca.com. Blue Shield customer service representatives are available to assist members with any fire-related concerns:

  • HMO and POS members can call 800-424-6521
  • PPO members can call 800-200-3242
  • IFP members can call 800-431-2809
  • Blue Shield 65+ members can call 800-776-4466
  • TTY-Hearing impaired members can call 800-241-1823

All Blue Shield of California members can also access free 24/7 medical information, counseling and other assistance from registered nurses, or counseling from master's level counselors, either by phone at 866-543-3728 or online at https://www.blueshieldca.com/bsc/hw/hw_nursechat_profile.jhtml.

About Blue Shield of California

Blue Shield of California, an independent member of the Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health plan dedicated to providing Californians with access to high quality care at a reasonable price. Founded in 1939, it now has 3.4 million members, 4,800 employees, one of the largest provider networks and more than 20 office locations, providing a wide range of commercial and government products throughout the state. The company has contributed $100 million over the past three years to the Blue Shield of California Foundation to fund nonprofit organizations that improve access to quality health care in California. Contact your local agent or broker for more information about Blue Shield products and services, or visit the Blue Shield web site at www.blueshieldca.com.


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SOURCE Blue Shield of California
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