Here’s how to save some time and aggravation

January 24, 2012

Do you know anyone who may have been wrongfully denied coverage for medical and mental health services?

If you answered yes to this question there is help.

The state has an office of the Healthcare Advocate (OHA). The office is there to help consumers.

Their services include:

• Consumer education and assistance in selecting a plan
• Help with denials of coverage

With so many people taking a proactive stance in their health care these days, it’s important to know you have access to an advocate who can help you get through the complicated web of insurance policies.

The OHA staff prepares cases thoroughly for appeals and appears in-person to advocate for consumers at administrative appeals, and also prepares external appeals. In 2011 the OHA saved consumers a record amount of money – $11.5 million. I would argue they saved people a lot of time and aggravation as well.

The savings represents the costs of healthcare services, procedures and claims that would have been taken directly from the wallets of hundreds of Connecticut consumers, had the agency not stepped in.

The OHA received a federal consumer assistance program grant to help pay for staff.

The Healthcare Advocate, Victoria Veltri has said the demand for her office’s service keeps increasing. Even with the doubling of the caseload, she says they are only seeing a fraction of the true demand out there.

As a consumer, you can trust the Health Care Advocate with intimate and complex physical and sometimes mental health situations. It’s nice to know there is a state office out there – doing a great job for the people.

For free assistance, consumers can call 1-866-466-4446, or e-mail OHA at [email protected]

For general information, consumers can visit OHA’s website at www.ct.gov/oha.