Special Healthcare Needs in an Emergency- EZ Access

Posted in: NAP- Neighborhood Alliance of Pawtucket
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Anyone with Special Healthcare Should Enroll in State Registry


For people who use life-sustaining medical equipment or take life-sustaining medications, a power outage is a significant problem. The predicted high winds and rains could cause a power outage.


The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) and the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) urge anyone with a disability, chronic condition, or special healthcare need(s) to enroll in the Rhode Island Special Needs Emergency Registry. This registry was created so that there is a reliable system for the identification of Rhode Islanders who require special assistance during emergencies.


Registration only takes a few minutes and can be done online, by mailing a completed registry form to RIEMA, or by phone. To register online or to download a registry form, visit  www.health.ri.gov/emregistry. To register by phone, call 222-4616/RI Relay 711. The registration form is available in multiple languages and alternate formats. Information submitted to the registry will be shared with local and state emergency management and responders such as local town/city police or fire.


Family members or caregivers can submit information to the registry on behalf of someone else who is not able to do so independently. If there is more than one person in a household who has a disability, chronic condition or special healthcare need(s), each person should complete a separate registry form.


Upon enrollment in the registry, HEALTH will send a GO-KIT to the individual. This kit contains additional information to help people prepare for an emergency.


The Rhode Island Special Needs Emergency Registry is a joint effort of the RIEMA and HEALTH. For regularly updated information on hurricane preparations, visit www.riema.ri.gov

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Rite Care changes from Blue Cross to Neighborhood Health or United Health for Pawtucket Residents in mail coming Sept 15th for changes in October-December

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI), a RIte Care
participating health plan for the past 16 years, decided for business
reasons not to submit a proposal to continue participating in RIte Care.
The State will be working closely with BCBSRI in the next few months to
assure a smooth transition of approximately 15,000 RIte Care members
(6,600 families) from BCBSRI to UnitedHealthcare of New England (UHC) or
Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island (NHPRI) prior to the end of the
current contract period, December 31, 2010.  BCBSRI will notify their
RIte Care members about their decision not to submit a proposal within
the next few days. 

RIte Care members currently enrolled with BCBSRI can be assured that
their medical benefits will continue without interruption through one of
the available participating RIte Care health plans.  Both UHC and NHPRI
have large networks of providers and an initial review by the State has
determined that 98% of those enrolled with BCBSRI will be able to
continue to receive care with their current primary care providers.
Until a member receives a letter from DHS regarding their new health
plan, they should continue to seek services using their BCBSRI card. 

Effective immediately, BCBSRI is no longer available as a plan choice
for new applicant families.  The MARC 1 application (paper and
on-line)will be amended to "black out" Blue CHiP as a choice. 

Planning is currently underway for the transition of current BCBSRI
members, which  will occur in four phases based on geography.  BCBSRI
members will receive a letter from DHS about their new health plan and
important phone numbers to call with questions.  Careful consideration
will be made for members who are receiving ongoing care or treatment.
Target dates for each phase are as follows: 

Mailing on September 15 for enrollment effective October 18 for members
living in Providence, Pawtucket

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