UnitedHealthcare Takes Action to Help People Affected by Hurricane Irene, Supports Red Cross Relief Efforts

  • Assistance for people who need immediate access to care or early refills of prescription medications

MINNETONKA, Minn. — 

UnitedHealthcare is taking immediate action to help people on the East Coast who may be affected by Hurricane Irene. Actions include special measures to help ensure UnitedHealthcare plan participants residing in affected counties can continue to have access to care and prescription medications; and financial support of the Red Cross’ relief efforts in affected communities.

Health plan participants residing in counties that have declared a hurricane warning or watch in North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are offered the following relief measures, effective immediately:

  • Access to Care: Plan participants who have been displaced from their homes or whose network medical facility or physician is not accessible, and require assistance or special accommodations, can call customer care at the number located on the back of their medical ID card for assistance. If necessary, customer care professionals will help affected individuals obtain in-network benefits if a network provider is not available. UnitedHealthcare plan participants who do not have their medical ID cards can call 866-633-2446, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. (in the local time zone), Monday through Friday.

    This includes plan participants enrolled in all fully insured commercial products, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement plans and Medicaid plans. This policy is effective immediately and will remain active until at least Sept. 9, 2011. UnitedHealthcare also encourages plan participants who are dependent on home-based medical equipment, such as dialysis machines or ventilators, to review their individual emergency plan and be prepared to make alternative arrangements in the event of a power outage.

  • Early Prescription Refills: People who have been displaced or do not have access to their medications will be able to have prescriptions refilled early. Plan participants obtaining a refill are asked to alert the pharmacist that they were affected by the hurricane in order to ensure the early prescription refill request is processed appropriately.

    This includes plan participants enrolled in all fully insured commercial products, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, Medicare Part D offerings or Medicaid plans (as applicable) insured through UnitedHealthcare. For mail-order delivery service to affected areas or any other questions related to their prescriptions, people are encouraged to call the pharmacy number on the back of their medical or prescription ID card, or speak directly to their pharmacist about their situation in order to get an early refill, if necessary.

    This policy is effective immediately and will remain active until at least Sept. 9, 2011.

  • Support for the American Red Cross: Through a $500,000 annual commitment, UnitedHealthcare participates in the Annual Disaster Giving Program of the American Red Cross, which is offering shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to people in the affected communities.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization – not a government agency – and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 37 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. 

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UnitedHealthcare Takes Action to Help People Affected by Hurricane Irene, Supports Red Cross Relief Efforts