SOURCE: Office of the Patient Advocate

Office of The Patient Advocate

October 15, 2014 13:00 ET

New Edition of Report Cards Help Californians Make Informed Health Care Choices

Release Comes Prior to the Fall Open Enrollment Period

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 15, 2014) - In the coming months, millions of Californians will be making an important decision: choosing a health plan during the open enrollment period for Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange, or through their employers. Help in making that decision is available through new online quality Report Cards provided by the California Office of the Patient Advocate (OPA).

Available in English, Spanish, and Chinese, the Report Cards allow consumers to compare the quality of care that more than 16 million commercially insured consumers receive from the state's ten largest HMOs, six largest PPOs, and more than 200 medical groups.

"Consumers will find it easy to compare plans and medical groups based on what really matters to them," said Elizabeth Abbott, OPA Director and long-time consumer advocate. "They can find the facts they need in a matter of minutes and make a better informed decision."

Users can drill-down online to see specific plan performance on topics of greatest interest to them, such as chronic disease management, pediatric care, and mental health care.

California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Diana Dooley, who serves as Chair of the Covered California Board, said the Report Cards are useful for anyone making a coverage decision this fall, including those seeking a health plan through Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange.

"We want all Californians to be able to make the best decisions possible and the Report Cards are an invaluable resource," Dooley said. Covered California provides a link to the OPA Health Care Quality Report Cards so that potential enrollees can access these quality ratings.

The California Department of Insurance regulates health insurance and makes the PPO Report Card available at its Web site (www.insurance.ca.gov). "The Report Cards provide consumers with essential information to make informed choices," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "The Department of Insurance has a long track record of providing consumer protection, fielding more than 160,000 calls annually. The Report Cards are one more key element in the protection and education of Californians, which is important as we approach the open enrollment period for the individual market in November."

For detailed information about the Health Care Quality Report Cards, visit www.opa.ca.gov, or call (916) 324-6407. The California Office of the Patient Advocate represents the interests of health care consumers in publicly reporting on health care quality.

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