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Wellmark announces temporary policy changes for members affected by Missouri River flooding
June 13, 2011


Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced today that it will relax two key business policies for members affected by flooding of the Missouri River. They include:


Early refills for prescriptions

Members with coverage under Wellmark can receive early refills for prescription drugs that are lost, damaged, or destroyed. To receive an early refill, members should contact their pharmacy and ask them to follow the established early refill process. Members will still be responsible for any applicable cost sharing (copays or coinsurance).


Extended period of time allowed for premium payments

Individual and group policyholders affected by the flooding will be allowed an extended period of time for making their premium payments. Affected customers should contact Wellmark’s customer service department to determine if an extension is appropriate.


Changes for members with Medicare plans

The following policy changes apply to members with Parts C and D Medicare coverage who live in counties that have been declared Federal disaster areas (a current list of disaster declarations is available at

  • Members with Part D coverage for prescription drugs may receive early refills
  • Members with MedicareBlue PPO (Regional PPO) and MedicareBlue Rx (PDP) will not lose their coverage for failing to pay premiums
  • Prior authorization and out-of-network provider requirements are waived for MedicareBlue PPO (Regional PPO) members for the duration of the disaster. Any cost sharing for out-of-network services will be reduced to the in-network rate
  • Medical necessity reviews for prior authorization will be waived for members whose primary residence is in the disaster area, and who receive services during the disaster declaration period

“Our thoughts are with Iowans and South Dakotans who have been affected by flooding,” says Wellmark Chairman and CEO John Forsyth. “Wellmark’s employees stand ready to serve our customers in the days and weeks to come, and we will make every attempt to accommodate them during this difficult time.”


Contacting Wellmark

Members who have been affected by the flood should contact Wellmark using the phone number on the back of their insurance card. Members who have lost their card may call 1-800-524-9242 (Iowa) or 1-800-831-4818 (South Dakota).


 Related Information

Contact Wellmark Media Relations

Traci McBee
Phone: 515-376-4338


Teresa Roof
Phone: 515-376-5869


1331 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309-2901

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