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23-1015: Update to State of Emergency: Impacts from Tropical Storm for Multiple Counties

August 25, 2023

Support for Wellcare members impacted

On August 20, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom expanded his state of emergency, based on impacts from Tropical Storm Hilary, to include Mono County.
Please note, provider update 23-988, distributed on August 23, 2023, incorrectly listed the counties impacted by the state of emergency declared by Governor Newsom on August 19, 2023. The impacted counties from that declaration include: Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Tulare and Ventura counties. Wellcare is providing assistance to members affected by the storm’s impacts.

We want to help ensure that members who have been impacted, because they or their usual health care providers have been temporarily displaced, have continued access to health care services and prescriptions during the state of emergency.

Here is what you need to know.

Prior authorization, precertification and referrals

Wellcare is taking steps to ensure that participating providers in areas affected by the storm are able to continue providing care for members’ medical needs.
Participating providers may call the Provider Services Center using the contact information in the right-hand column of this page for guidance on:

  • Shortening time limits for health care service plans to approve prior authorization, precertification, or referrals, and extending the time that prior authorizations, precertification, and referrals for treatment remain valid.
  • Approving out-of-network services in the event a contracting provider or facility becomes unavailable.
  • Authorization for the replacement of medical equipment or supplies.

Filing claims

The deadline to file claims for providers impacted by the storm will be extended. Providers may contact the Provider Services Center using the contact information in the right-hand column of this page for additional guidance on claims extension time frames.

Prescription information

Wellcare will approve any essential prescription medications (with current copayments and deductibles) for any impacted members whose medication was interrupted by the storm. Wellcare will also suspend prescription refill limitations and allow an impacted enrollee to refill their prescriptions at an out-of-network pharmacy. Providers should inform their patients that to obtain an emergency supply, affected members can return to the pharmacy where the original prescription was filled. If the pharmacy is not open due to the state of emergency, affected members can contact Wellcare at 1-866-999-3945 for questions or assistance.

Member insurance cards and health care information

Members whose insurance cards have been lost or left behind due to the state of emergency and members who have health care questions during the state of emergency can contact Wellcare at 1-866-999-3945 for questions or assistance.

Coping assistance

Wellcare members who lost their homes or have been evacuated due to the storm may contact 1-866-999-3945 for referrals to mental health counselors, local resources or telephonic consultations to help them cope with stress, grief, loss or other trauma resulting from the storm.

Additional information

Depending on how the impacts from Tropical Storm Hilary progress, Wellcare may make additional changes to its policies as needed to ensure members have access to necessary health care services.

If you have questions regarding the information contained in this update, contact the Provider Services Center by phone or through the provider website as listed on this page.

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Y0020_WCM_100876E Last Updated On: 8/28/2023