California Nabs Grant To Help Consumers Navigate Coverage
The grants aim to strengthen state efforts to help consumers with health insurance problems or questions (Pecquet, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 10/19).
Funds for California
California will receive $3.4 million of the federal consumer assistance grants.
The state's share will go to the Department of Managed Health Care, which is partnering with Patient Advocate of California to help consumers navigate their health care coverage.
The state plans to use the funds to:
- Collect, monitor and report consumer problems and questions related to health plan enrollment;
- Develop and promote a user-friendly website and toll-free phone number that consumers can use to find answers to their questions about health care coverage;
- Run a statewide media campaign to inform consumers about their rights and responsibilities related to health insurance; and
- Weigh the effectiveness of new consumer assistance initiatives (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 10/19).
Karen Pollitz -- deputy director for consumer support at HHS' Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight -- said that the reform law requires agencies receiving the grants to track problems that consumers experience, which will help HHS increase oversight and determine the source of common problems (Norman, CQ HealthBeat, 10/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.