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For every dollar spent on the Office of Health Care Advocate (OHA), $4.42 was returned to CT consumers in health care services last year, according to OHA’s most recent annual report. From 2001 to 2007, OHA helped consumers with almost 10,000 complaints. Additionally, OHA was able to get two pieces of consumer protection legislation passed last year – one creating a legal definition of medical necessity for health insurance policies sold in the state, and another preventing insurers from gratuitously cancelling policies for pre-existing conditions. OHA also worked with advocates from other states to ensure that proposed federal mental health parity legislation does not weaken CT’s strong state law. The annual report also includes stories of consumers who sought help from the office including getting insurers to pay for a girl’s Lyme disease medication, medically necessary services for premature twin babies, and a lift for a 12 year old girl with spastic cerebral palsy. If you have a question or feel you were unfairly denied care by your health insurance company, contact OHA toll-free at 1-866-466-4446 or healthcare.advocate@ct.gov.
Ellen Andrews