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Press Releases

Select Health Makes It Easier for Members to Get Medical Help during Hurricane Dorian

Policies Temporarily Lifted to Help Members in Affected Areas Access Needed Care and Services

Select Health of South Carolina, the state’s oldest and largest Medicaid managed care organization and part of the AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies, is committed to the health and safety of South Carolina’s communities during Hurricane Dorian, which is currently impacting the state. Select Health is working to ensure continuity of care for members of its First Choice Medicaid and First Choice VIP Care Plus Medicare-Medicaid plans during this critical time.

In coordination with South Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS), Select Health has made important temporary adjustments to its coverage policies and procedures for members living in the affected areas.

For members and network providers of Select Health’s First Choice Medicaid plan, the following changes are effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice:

  • Members may refill their regular medications earlier than usual to ensure a sufficient supply.
  • Members may receive a temporary, 72-hour supply of medications that normally require a prior authorization.
  • Members traveling out of state may fill their medications by showing their First Choice member identification card at any retail pharmacy.
  • Essential medical supplies and equipment for those members impacted by the storm will be approved by the health plan, as needed.
  • Use of out-of-network and/or out-of-state providers will be allowed for medically necessary services.
  • Providers, please note that administrative denials for late notification will be waived until further notice.
  • Medically necessary emergency care will be covered. If you are having an emergency, please call 911 or seek medical attention immediately.
  • Health plan members and network providers are encouraged to check the First Choice by Select Health website at www.selecthealthofsc.com or search for “First Choice by Select Health” on Facebook to find the latest information on these changes.

For First Choice VIP Care Plus members and network providers, the following changes will remain in effect for the duration of the declared state of emergency:

  • Members may refill their regular medications earlier than usual to ensure a sufficient supply.
  • Use of out-of-network pharmacies is authorized when access to in-network pharmacies is unavailable or when traveling to in-network pharmacies is difficult, unsafe, or not practical. Please note that First Choice VIP Care Plus members can access a large network of pharmacies (including CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, and others) in any state.
  • All requests for emergency inpatient hospital admissions, as well as admissions to skilled nursing facilities, nursing facilities, and rehabilitation and long-term acute care facilities will be approved by the health plan, as needed.
  • All urgent outpatient procedures requiring prior authorizations will be approved by the plan, as needed.
  • Essential medical supplies and equipment for those members impacted by the storm will be approved by the plan, as needed.
  • Use of Medicare-certified out-of-network and/or out-of-state providers will be allowed for medically necessary services.
  • Providers, please note that administrative denials for late notification will be waived during this time.Medically necessary emergency care will be covered. If you are having an emergency, please call 911 or seek medical attention immediately.
  • Health plan members and network providers are encouraged to check the First Choice VIP Care Plus website at www.firstchoicevipcareplus.com for the latest information on these changes.

Members of both health plans are reminded to keep their member identification cards with them at all times and take their cards if they evacuate their homes.

Offices and staff in unaffected regions, as well as the Nurse Call Line, will be available to assist members with urgent needs. Select Health’s Member Services team may be reached at 1-888-276-2020 (TTY 1-888-765-9586) for First Choice Medicaid members and at 1-888-978-0862 (TTY/TDD 711) for First Choice VIP Care Plus members.

The Nurse Call Line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for First Choice Medicaid members at 1-800-304-5436, and for First Choice VIP Care Plus members at 1-855-843-1147.

For the latest information on Hurricane Dorian in our state, please go to the following resources: South Carolina Emergency Management Division website (www.scemd.org/), and Hurricane Guide (https://www.scemd.org/stay-informed/publications/hurricane-guide/) as well as the National Hurricane Center (www.nhc.noaa.gov).

“For more than two decades, we have been part of the fabric of South Carolina’s communities, and we will continue to stand by our communities and members throughout the duration of this crisis,” said Select Health Market President Courtnay Thompson. “Our top priority is helping to ensure the health and safety of the members and communities we serve. We are working with SCDHHS and other stakeholders across the state to help ensure that our members continue to have access to needed care and services.”

“It’s most important that our members do whatever is necessary to try and assure their own safety and that of their loved ones,” said Deonys De Cardenas, Executive Director, First Choice VIP Care Plus. “We want to do our best to accommodate our members in need who might be affected by this weather event and make it easier to access critical services.”