San Diego Retirees Get CareCounsel's Healthcare Advocacy Program

San Rafael, CA, April 10, 2002 — Starting this month, retirees of the City of San Diego will have access to CareCounsel's innovative healthcare advocacy service. The San Diego City Employees' Retirement System (SDCERS) selected CareCounsel, LLC, based in San Rafael, CA, in a competitive bid process conducted by employee benefit consulting firm, William M. Mercer, Inc.

CareCounsel will provide healthcare information, advocacy and coaching through a tollfree number to help retirees with the following issues:

  • Understanding available health benefits and Medicare options
  • Acting as a liaison with their health plan or healthcare provider for escalated issues
  • Assisting with claims, payment problems and service denials
  • Making smart decisions when choosing primary care providers, specialists, hospitals and long-term care programs
  • Addressing provider network access issues, like getting an appointment to specialists
  • Locating community resources and disease-related information for seniors
  • Resolving questions and concerns regarding managed care services.

"Healthcare issues for retirees are complex and ever-changing," according to Paul Barnett, Assistant Retirement Administrator. "SDCERS is committed to helping our retirees navigate through the maze of questions and concerns. We are confident that hiring CareCounsel will help our retirees resolve their health plan issues quickly and professionally."

"We are delighted that SDCERS selected CareCounsel as an enhancement to their health insurance services," added Lawrence N. Gelb, CareCounsel President and CEO. "Today's healthcare landscape can be byzantine; consumers and, especially, retirees appreciate having personal advocates as guides."

CareCounsel pioneered the Healthcare Assistance Programs in 1997. Clients include Bristol-Myers Squibb; the County of Santa Barbara; Fritz, a UPS Company; Hitachi Data Systems; Nikon Precision; Pillsbury Winthrop; Teleplan, Tetra Pak and The American Cancer Society.

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