California State Automobile Association Supports Retirees with CareCounsel's Healthcare Assistance Program

San Rafael, CA, November 5, 2002 — CareCounsel, LLC today announces that it will provide its pioneering Healthcare Assistance Program to the California State Automobile Association (CSAA). Starting with this fall's open enrollment period, CareCounsel staff will conduct outbound calling and offer inbound call center services to support retirees as they select CSAA-sponsored health and ancillary health benefits. After open enrollment, retirees and their spouses will have access to the CareCounsel program on an ongoing basis for consumer healthcare education, advocacy and ombudsman services.

Carl Herington, CSAA's Manager of Benefits Design & Planning, notes that "we are delighted to offer the CareCounsel program as a resource to help our retirees make informed health plan decisions in an era of rapidly rising health benefit costs. Through a combination of targeted outbound calling, customized communications material and expert call center capabilities, CareCounsel will help retirees make smart health plan choices and gain the additional assurance that these choices are appropriate ones for themselves and for their family members. CareCounsel will also be available beyond the enrollment period to assist retirees with any issues that come up as they use their managed care and Medicare plans."

"All employers that offer comprehensive retiree health benefits are faced with the quandary of effectively communicating complex benefit choices in a way that retirees can understand," said Lawrence N. Gelb, CareCounsel's President and CEO. "CSAA is breaking new ground to help retirees become smarter healthcare purchasers by offering personal advocates to support this goal."

CareCounsel helps employees and retirees navigate the complex health benefits landscape through a telephone-based benefit that provides consumer education, advocacy and access to expert healthcare resources and information. They provide assistance with selecting health plans, choosing primary care physicians and specialists, locating disease-specific resources and resolving provider network access, claims and quality concerns with medical providers and health plans. CareCounsel is headquartered in San Rafael, California and provides healthcare advocacy services to over twenty employer groups.

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