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Health Care Help Is Out There

May 25, 1999
Related Topics: Health and Wellness, Featured Article
Health care coverage options are tricky. Luckily, there are plenty of resources available to help. Below are a few.

State Insurance Commissioner's Office:
Contact this office for lists of mandated benefits in your state.

Benefits consultants:
They can help you navigate available health care plans. Among the best known are William M. Mercer Inc., Towers Perrin, and KMPG Peat Marwick. An especially helpful tool is William M. Mercer's "International Benefit Guidelines," an annual report on insurance practices worldwide, sorted by country. The study can be found at Mercer's Web site in the "Resource Center" under the "Publications" listing.

Chamber of Commerce:
Especially for small businesses, the local Chamber often has groups of employers who've been through similar experiences.

Health Insurance Plans of California (HIPC):
HIPC is a coalition of insurers that gives Community Partners employees a choice of 12 to 15 HMOs and a POS (point-of-service) option. Call 800/HIPC-YES (800/447-2937).

Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA):
This organization's Web site provides HIAA booklets. Go to Consumer Information. Call 202/785-3910 for copies, or print them from the Web site.

HIAA also recommends these sources of information:

Managed Care: An AARP Guide
American Association of Retired Persons, Washington, D.C., 202/434-2277

Choosing Quality: Finding the Health Plan That's Right for You
National Committee for Quality Assurance, Washington, D.C., 800/839-6487

Consumer Coalition for Quality Health Care
Washington, D.C., 202/789-3606

Workforce, January 1999, Vol. 78, No. 1, p. 86.

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