Tuesday, September 27

Insurance information for state, school employees

The Louisiana Office of Group Benefits (OGB) is reaching out to its 75,000 state and school employees and their families who have been displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and who have health insurance through the state of Louisiana.

The OGB has announced several changes that make it easier for displaced state workers and school employees to obtain health care through its four programs — PPO, EPO, MCO and HMO:

All plan members who live in zip codes starting with 700, 701, 704, 395, 396, 705, and 706 (plus zip code 70377) who want to switch to the PPO or the EPO can do so. The EPO has a nationwide network of physicians and hospitals. Plan members can contact their agency headquarters or call the OGB for assistance at (800) 272-8451. Plan members interested in switching can also get help in determining their new premiums.

PPO, EPO and MCO plan members can print a two-year history of their medical claims, including lists of lab and x-ray tests, and prescriptions from the OGB Web site at www.groupbenefits.org. This will be especially useful for plan members seeing new providers.

PPO, EPO and MCO plan members who use out-of-network pharmacies will not have to pay a penalty until further notice.

Plan members in the EPO, PPO, MCO and Humana HMO plans will be able to refill prescription drugs without the usual 30-day restrictions.

United Behavioral Health has a hotline for all OGB plan members in any plan the EPO, PPO and MCO who have behavioral issues or who need a list of disaster relief assistance resources in their area. The toll-free number is (866) 615-8700. Additional resources are also available at the UBH Web site at liveandworkwell.com.

Plan members in the FARA MCO can call (800) 427-4511 for help. FARA has moved its customer service operation to Lafayette.

EPO plan members can call UnitedHealthcare toll-free at (866) 336-9374. Plan members in the Humana HMO can call the customer service center toll-free at (866) 427-7478.

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