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First Choice by Select Health Makes It Easier for Members to Get Medical Help During Hurricane Florence

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

Important note: The Health Empowerment Tour that was originally scheduled for Saturday, September 15, 2018 at Clinton College in Rock Hill has been postponed. A new date will be announced as soon as possible.

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 Florence, 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, five-day supply of medications that normally require prior authorization.
  • Members travelling 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.
  • Administrative denials for late notification will be waived at this time.
  • Medically necessary emergency care will be covered. 
  • Health plan members and network providers are encouraged to check the First Choice by Select Health website for the latest information on these changes.

For First Choice VIP Care Plus members and network providers, the following changes will remain in effect until further notice:

  • 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.
  • 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 health plan, as needed.
  • Use of Medicare-certified out-of-network and/or out-of-state providers will be allowed for medically necessary services.
  • Administrative denials for late notification will be waived at this time.
  • Health plan members and network providers are encouraged to check the First Choice VIP Care Plus website 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.

Members experiencing a medical emergency should call 911 or seek medical attention immediately. 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, as follows:

  • First Choice Medicaid members, call 1-888-276-2020 (TTY 1-888-765-9586) 
  • First Choice VIP Care Plus members, call 1-888-978-0862 (TTY/TDD 711) 
The Nurse Call Line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 
  • First Choice Medicaid members, call 1-800-304-5436 
  • First Choice VIP Care Plus members, call 1-855-843-1147

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 Jay Powell, vice president, South Carolina Medicare for AmeriHealth Caritas and head of 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 by temporarily easing access to some of our services.”

About Select Health

Select Health of South Carolina, part of the AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies, contracts with the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) to offer First Choice, the state’s oldest and largest Medicaid managed care health plan, in all 46 counties statewide. Select Health’s First Choice health plan is the top-rated Medicaid health plan in South Carolina, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s (NCQA) Medicaid Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2015 – 2016, 2016 – 2017, and 2017 – 2018. First Choice was the top-ranked Medicaid health plan in South Carolina per NCQA from 2010 to 2014. First Choice is the first health plan in South Carolina to earn NCQA’s Multicultural Health Care Distinction, an honor it has achieved four times since 2011. 

Select Health also offers the First Choice VIP Care Plus Medicare-Medicaid plan in 39 South Carolina counties.

About AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies

AmeriHealth Caritas is part of the Independence Health Group in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. AmeriHealth Caritas is one of the nation’s leaders in health care solutions for those most in need. Operating in 15 states and the District of Columbia, AmeriHealth Caritas serves approximately 5.3 million Medicaid, Medicare and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) members through its integrated managed care products, pharmaceutical benefit management and specialty pharmacy services, behavioral health services, and other administrative services. Headquartered in Philadelphia, AmeriHealth Caritas is a mission-driven organization with more than 35 years of experience serving low-income and chronically ill populations.