From our Industry Experts

TMCNet:  Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Adjusts Health and Pharmacy Benefits for Members Affected by the Winter Storm

[February 08, 2013]

Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Adjusts Health and Pharmacy Benefits for Members Affected by the Winter Storm

NEW YORK --(Business Wire)--

Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield today announced revised medical and pharmacy guidelines to help members who are directly impacted by the winter storm.

The revised guidelines will help members who are impacted by the winter storm access needed medical care and prescription drugs.

Members affected by the winter storm should seek medical assistance wherever it is available and have their medications refilled at any pharmacy or shipped to them.

In addition, for members in New York, all providers caring for affected members will be considered "in-network" providers.

These revisions apply to affected members living in New York who are affected by the storm and who are covered by Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield.

For impacted members, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield is:

  • Allowing the affected members to see any physician necessary to provide access to care.
  • Paying all claims as in-network, regardless of whether or not the health care provider is in network.
  • Suspending early refill limits.
  • Suspending utilization management (UM) review of in-hospitalcases.
  • Allowing replacement of medical equipment or supplies.
  • Extending filing deadlines for claims.
  • Extending the time period for notification of hospital admissions.

These medical and pharmacy guidelines are effective immediately until further notice.

For additional questions, members should call the phone number on the back of their membership card.

About Empire BlueCross BlueShield:

Serving New Yorkers for over 75 years, Empire BlueCross BlueShield is the largest health insurer in New York supporting nearly six million members and more than 38,000 business, union and small employers in New York.¬†Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc., and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc., independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State. Additional information about Empire is available at Also, follow us on Twitter (News - Alert) at, on Facebook (News - Alert) at, or visit our YouTube (News - Alert) channel at

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