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WellPoint Provides Support and Resources to Most Vulnerable California Residents

Plans Reach Out To Those With Chronic Diseases In California To Help Ensure

Needs Are Met

INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP) continues to reach out to victims of the southern California wildfires. As the most immediate threat to residents is subsiding in many areas, longer lasting health implications are beginning to take root, impacting all residents, but especially those suffering from chronic diseases.

Certain WellPoint pharmacy guidelines have been modified to help members who are directly impacted by the wildfires in southern California. Affected members may receive a one-time 30-day supply override on prescriptions. This will enable members to refill prescriptions now, even if they are not due for a refill at this time. For members in the impacted communities who participate in a mail-order prescription program, orders are being re-routed to alternate addresses as needed at no charge to the members.

Medical professionals from our disease management programs are contacting members in areas affected by the fires in California who have asthma and other respiratory problems to ensure they have the medications and supplies they need. Community Resource Center (CRC) staff has begun identifying Medi-Cal and Healthy Families, Access for Infants and Mothers (AIM) and other WellPoint State Sponsored Business members. Similarly, care management staff is identifying Medicare members in the areas affected by the fires. Representatives are reaching out and offering assistance to members who are at risk for additional health problems as a result of the fires, evacuation, property damage and poor air quality by:

-- Identifying members with ongoing medical problems (asthma, diabetes,

congestive heart failure, etc.) and providing assistance with replacing

or refilling lost or damaged prescriptions, replacing health plan

cards, and providing information and referral to additional supports as


-- Working with physicians and other medical providers in areas affected

by fires to assist with member needs; and,

-- Partnering with the American Red Cross and other groups to help

communicate with members who are unreachable by phone due to property

damage or evacuation.

Community Resource Center representatives in Los Angeles and San Diego are also reaching out to physicians' offices in the affected areas to offer assistance and resources and to provide information to help physicians continue their clinical practices at this critical time.

The American Lung Association recommends all residents, but especially seniors and those with respiratory and other chronic conditions, take the following precautions:

-- Use appropriate protective breathing masks when outdoors until air

quality improves. The American Lung Association recommends masks with a

rating of N95 to provide protection against smaller particles. CRC

representatives can provide information on where protective breathing

masks are available in local communities.

-- Obtain a flu shot as soon as possible. The stress of the disaster,

evacuation, proximity to strangers, lack of sleep and general life

disruption, especially right at the beginning of flu season, can

increase the susceptibility to flu.

-- Run the air conditioner on the "recirculation" setting and/or use your

indoor air filter system.

CRC representatives are available to provide information and referrals on a daily basis for members who walk in or call. In Los Angeles the CRC can be reached at (866) 465-2272 and in San Diego at (888) 302-1012. Medicare members are encouraged to call the care management unit directly at (866) 797-9884 for assistance. Members affected by this disaster may also call the 24/7 NurseLine day or night, seven days a week at (866) 417-7107.

About WellPoint, Inc.

WellPoint's mission is to improve the lives of the people it serves and the health of its communities. WellPoint, Inc. is the largest health benefits company in terms of commercial membership in the United States. Through its nationwide networks, the company delivers a number of leading health benefit solutions through a broad portfolio of integrated health care plans and related services, along with a wide range of specialty products such as life and disability insurance benefits, pharmacy benefit management, dental, vision, behavioral health benefit services, as well as long term care insurance and flexible spending accounts. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, WellPoint is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and serves its members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as Blue Cross Blue Shield in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at

SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.
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