Tuesday, February 26, 2013


California Department of Managed Health Care Renews Statewide Partnership to Help Californians Struggling with Health Care Coverage

Free Assistance Available Online, Over-the-Phone or at Local Offices throughout the State

(Sacramento) - The California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) has renewed its successful statewide consumer assistance partnership with the Health Consumer Alliance through November 2014, DMHC Director Brent A. Barnhart announced today.  Californians who are struggling with health coverage issues will continue to be able to receive comprehensive help online, over-the-phone or in-person at independent community-based offices throughout the state.

“This continuing partnership ensures many more Californians will be able to access the health care they need,” said Director Barnhart.  “The Health Consumer Alliance expands our ability to help consumers by providing comprehensive, local, one-on-one assistance to individuals and families struggling to navigate the complex and confusing health care system.”

The Health Consumer Alliance is a network of nine consumer assistance programs operated by community-based legal services organizations and two statewide support organizations.

“The Health Consumer Alliance is proud of our 14 year history of local and statewide health consumer advocacy and systemic improvement, and we are extremely gratified that the DMHC has chosen to continue to partner with us for their statewide consumer assistance program,” said Gregory Knoll, Executive Director of the Health Consumer Alliance’s San Diego partner, the Legal Aid Society of San Diego.

To learn more, get help or a referral to a local office, Californians can contact the DMHC Help Center at 1-888-466-2219 or visit www.HealthHelp.ca.gov.  Consumers can learn about their health care options and rights, get referrals and assistance enrolling in health coverage and receive help filing complaints and appeals.  In addition to direct assistance, the Health Consumer Alliance local offices will provide information and education about how the health care system is changing under the federal Affordable Care Act.

About the DMHC

The DMHC regulates managed care health plans in California, protects the rights of approximately 20 million health plan enrollees, educates consumers on their health care rights and responsibilities, and preserves the financial stability of the managed health care system. Since 2000, the department has helped more than 1 million Californians resolve health plan problems through its Help Center. Information and assistance is available 24/7 at www.HealthHelp.ca.gov or by calling 1-888-466-2219.

For fourteen years, the Health Consumer Alliance (HCA) has provided direct assistance and representation to health care consumers across California.  HCA helps consumers establish or maintain health coverage and ensures that consumers have access to essential health services.    The list of HCA partners and more information is available at www.healthconsumer.org.