CareCounsel Selected as Employee Healthcare Advocates for The Fritz Companies

San Rafael, CA, September 10, 1998 — CareCounsel, LLC, today announced that it has been selected to provide its innovative Healthcare Assistance Program to The Fritz Companies, a leading integrated transportation logistics firm based in San Francisco with over 9000 employees. Since July, Fritz domestic employees and dependents have been able to access CareCounsel's toll-free number for confidential assistance with a wide range of healthcare benefits issues.

"The CareCounsel Program is an exciting employee benefit," according to Bernie Tillotson, Area Executive Vice President at Gallagher Heffernan, a division of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., a leading employee benefits consulting firm retained by The Fritz Companies. "As employees take greater responsibility for their healthcare needs, we wanted to provide an accessible, employee-friendly way for people to get answers to questions and increase understanding of their managed care benefits. CareCounsel can make an important contribution to the success of employers' health benefits programs."

"In the first month of the program, over 7% of the eligible employee population used CareCounsel," according to CareCounsel President and CEO, Lawrence N. Gelb. " With a high initial response rate of 22% of program users, 96% of the Fritz employees and dependents "strongly agreed" or "agreed" that the assistance provided by CareCounsel was helpful and 91% "strongly agreed" or "agreed" that the CareCounsel program is "a valuable benefit" for their employer to offer.

CareCounsel staff serves as advocates, helping employees get their needs met in today's increasingly complex healthcare environment. They provide assistance with selecting health plans, choosing primary care physicians and specialists, locating disease-specific resources and resolving service and quality concerns with medical providers and health plans.

Employees receive consultation and educational material about proactive healthcare strategies like: Choosing a Hospital; Maximizing Your Healthcare Dollars; Usual and Customary Charges; How to Select a Dentist; Keeping a Personal Health Record; Understanding Medicare; and Talking with Your Doctor. Employers receive comprehensive utilization and satisfaction reports.

CareCounsel, based in San Rafael, California, is the country's leading vendor of healthcare assistance programs. CareCounsel helps employees navigate the new healthcare environment through a telephone-based benefit that provides consumer education, advocacy and access to expert healthcare resources and information. The program serves employers, labor trusts, managed care organizations and healthcare purchasing coalitions.

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