Deliver Your News to the World

UnitedHealth Group Takes Immediate Action in Anticipation of Hurricane Ike


Toll-free help line to assist residents seeking help in dealing with stress and anxiety brought on by the storm

Online Personal Health Records help residents keep their health information handy in the event of an emergency

UnitedHealth Group allowing affected customers to obtain early prescription refills

With the Texas and Louisiana coastlines in the projected path of Hurricane Ike, UnitedHealth Group and its family of companies, including UnitedHealthcare, Ovations, AmeriChoice, OptumHealth and Prescription Solutions, are taking the following immediate actions to help those affected by the storm:

* Early Refills for Prescription Medications. Effective immediately, a pharmacy exception for covered prescription refills has been implemented in Texas and Louisiana. This allows fully insured health plan customers to obtain an early refill of a prescription medication, providing they have a refill remaining on file at a participating retail pharmacy. This measure will remain in place for the duration of this event. Note: this does not affect self-funded business; however, self-funded clients can request to adopt these measures. Please contact your UnitedHealthcare representative for more details.

The pharmacy early refill exception also applies to individuals with prescription coverage through Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, or Medicare Part D offerings, including the AARP MedicareRx plans.

* Help Accessing Network Physicians and Facilities. Customers who are displaced and need assistance or special accommodations should call the telephone number on the back of their medical ID cards. If necessary, customer care professionals will help them obtain in-network benefits for out-of-network services if a network provider is not available.

* Medicare Advantage and Medicaid Enrollees. Medicare Advantage and Medicaid enrollees affected by the disaster may go to a provider outside of the network without obtaining authorization from his or her plan.

This applies for the duration of the disaster in all of Louisiana and the following counties in Texas: Angelina, Aransas, Austin, Bee, Bexar, Bowie, Brazoria, Brazos, Brooks, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Collin, Colorado, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, El Paso, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Hardin, Harris, Hidalgo, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Lavaca, Liberty, Lubbock, Matagorda, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Potter, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Shelby, Smith, Starr, Tarrant, Tom Green, Travis, Trinity, Tyler, Victoria, Waller, Walker, Webb, Wharton, and Willacy.

The OptumHealth Help Line is now open at (866) 342-6892 to assist all residents trying to cope with the emotional consequences of the advancing hurricane. Staffed by experienced master’s-level behavioral health specialists, the free help line assists callers with a range of personal concerns including stress, anxiety and the grieving process. Callers may also receive referrals to a database of community resources to help them with specific concerns, such as financial and legal issues.

The Help Line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for as long as necessary. This service is free of charge. Resources and information are also available in English at and in Spanish at

UnitedHealth Group also urges residents who have access to a Personal Health Record (PHR) through their health insurer or another resource to ensure that information is up to date. Information in an on-line PHR can be accessed by the individual or, with permission, by health professionals from any location.

Recognizing the significant needs of communities affected this storm season, UnitedHealth Group has donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross for 2008 Hurricane Relief.

“UnitedHealth Group is concerned about the health and welfare of people affected by hurricanes. We want to move quickly to help not just our customers, but as many of our fellow residents affected by the storm as possible. And we will continue to look for ways to respond to their needs,” said Randy Giles, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of South Texas.


This news content was configured by WebWire editorial staff. Linking is permitted.

News Release Distribution and Press Release Distribution Services Provided by WebWire.