November 13, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Update —
Continued Care for Members

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, there continue to be tremendous challenges for many throughout the New York metropolitan area. Our sympathy goes out to those who are suffering as a result of this storm.

The focus of our efforts is on making sure our members get the care they need during this difficult time.

Call Us 24/7

Our call centers are open 24 hours, seven days a week. EmblemHealth members who need assistance can reach the company at the following toll-free numbers:

  • PPO Members: 1-800-624-2414
  • HMO Members: 1-800-447-8255
  • Pharmacy Services: 1-877-793-6253

Lost ID Cards

To obtain temporary ID cards, members can sign in to myEmblemHealth at

Medical Services

The New York Department of Health and Department of Financial Services have declared a state of emergency. To assist our members access care and to help providers cope with the emergency, we have relaxed our utilization management rules. For example:

  • Prior authorization for the provision of urgent services for members has been waived.
  • Members in need of urgent care should seek care from the closest provider.
  • We are focused on ensuring the safety and continued care of our members if they face discharge from a hospital or medical facility and don't have a safe alternative.

Prescription Refills

If members have a prescription drug plan, members can get valid refills from any in-network pharmacy. Our network pharmacies will be able to assist in obtaining needed medications and refills.

We have relaxed our utilization management rules to allow access to medications. As such, early prescription refill requests will be approved for needed medications. Note that in the event the prescribing physician is not reachable to provide a refill, it is a retail pharmacy standard to provide an emergency supply of medication to the member until the physician can be contacted.

Emotional Support & Telephone Behavioral Therapy Sessions

Because of the damage left by the storm, many behavioral health providers may not be able to get to their offices or patients may not be able to get to their providers.

In these cases, members who are currently receiving treatment for a behavioral health issue or need immediate treatment for a behavioral health issue can get telephone therapy sessions from Emblem Behavioral Health Services to the end of November. We have already notified our behavioral health providers of the telephonic service we are offering.

If you're having trouble managing feelings of stress and anxiety, Emblem Behavioral Health Services can help. Call us at 1-888-447-2526 to talk to a professional counselor or visit Achieve Solutions for helpful coping strategies in the aftermath of the storm.

Online Resources

In an effort to support you and your employees while you recover and rebuild after this disaster, EmblemHealth has made available these resources:

Both resources are available through

We look forward to serving you and your employees as we rebuild our lives and communities.