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North Raleigh Today

Monday, April 6, 2020

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner says extra prescriptions are allowed during state of emergency

Local Government

By Elle Johnson | Mar 18, 2020

Cooper
Gov. Roy Cooper issues a state of emergency and North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey said extra prescriptions will be allowed. | Gov. Roy Cooper /Facebook

Mike Causey, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner, said extra prescriptions are allowed by the North Carolina Department of Insurance in the current state of emergency that Gov. Roy Cooper declared last weekend.

On Saturday, Cooper declared an executive order, which closed all public schools for at least two weeks and bans gatherings of 100 or more people in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

“We do not have the luxury of a wait-and-see approach. These are hard decisions but they are necessary so we can learn more about the virus,” Cooper said in a release. “We do not want any regrets in the rearview mirror, and I am guided by one objective – doing what we must to keep people from getting sick and to make sure that those who do can get excellent care."

While schools are closed, Cooper will work with a Working Group, co-chaired by Susan Gale Perry, chief deputy secretary of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and Deputy State Superintendent of Innovation at DPI David Stegall. 

“I am standing up this new working group to ensure that children have enough food to eat, families have care in safe places for their young children, and student learning continues,” Cooper said.

This minimum two-week period will allow the state time to assess the situation and determine further steps to be taken, such as extra prescriptions in the state of emergency. 

If a prescription has an authorized refill, a person can receive a refill, regardless of the dispensing authority of the pharmacy they go to. 

The emergency authorization will stay in effect until Thursday, April 9. This is 29 days after the authorization was issued on March 11 to insurance companies and other plans and programs. 

WBTW reports that CVS Pharmacy said it will waive charges for home deliveries. The company is doing this to encourage those with a higher risk of catching the coronavirus to stay home. 

Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the largest health insurer in North Carolina, had also waived co-pays for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, Causey said. NCDOI also suggests other state health insurance companies to do this as well. 

Some insurance companies are covering virtual doctor visits for people who are remotely contacting their doctors as well. 

NC Medicaid is also implementing policy changes due to COVID-19. Medicaid is encouraging clients to have home visits, which will be reimbursed, especially for those for vulnerable to the virus. It will also be offering virtual consultation for those experiencing mild symptoms of COVID-19, follow-ups for those with the virus and for those who would benefit from a health assessment. In addition, NC Medicaid is limiting the amount on in-person pharmacy interactions. 

The state COVID-19 is changing daily and the NC Department of Insurance suggests to the public to visit their health insurance companies' websites often to receive the best up-to-date information on their coverage. 

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North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

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