SOURCE: Office of the Patient Advocate

Office of the Patient Advocate

August 05, 2009 14:14 ET

Take Control of Your Health Care: Know What Your Health Insurance Plan Covers

California's Office of the Patient Advocate Offers Online Tools to Help You Get the Most out of Your Health Care

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - August 5, 2009) - Knowing what benefits your health insurance plan covers is crucial to getting the best health care, and can save health insurance plan members time and money when it matters the most. California's Office of the Patient Advocate has easy-to-use, online tools to help Californians learn about their health insurance plan benefits and get the most out of their health care. These free tools and other health care resources are available on the Office of the Patient Advocate's Web site, www.opa.ca.gov/healthcare.

To help navigate health insurance plan coverage, the Office of the Patient Advocate offers the Ask About Benefits worksheet, which includes a series of questions about seeing doctors and other health care providers, optional benefits, and other health care services. This worksheet helps health care consumers learn important information about their health insurance plan, including which doctors accept your insurance, seeing doctors that are out of your health insurance plan's network, coverage for prescription drugs, and interpreter services.

"Don't assume that your health insurance plan will pay for the doctor you want to see or the treatment you need. Taking the time to know what your health insurance benefits are can save you money in the long run," said Sandra Perez, director, Office of the Patient Advocate. "Californians have the right to easy-to-understand information about their health insurance benefits. Tools like the Ask About Benefits worksheet can help make it even easier."

Health care plays an important role in the lives of all Californians. The Office of the Patient Advocate seeks to provide Californians with the information and tools needed to make informed health care decisions and get the most out of their health insurance plan. In addition, by releasing an annual quality report card rating the largest health insurance plans and doctors' medical groups in the state, the Office of the Patient Advocate stimulates competition in a way that increases the quality and value of health care services for all Californians.

The Office of the Patient Advocate is an office in state government established in 2000 to inform and educate Californians about their rights and responsibilities as health insurance plan members and to teach them how to get the most out of their health care. To learn more about getting the most out of your health care, or to download health worksheets and other health care-related tools, visit www.opa.ca.gov.