From the consumer helpline

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I started working with the CT Health Policy Project a few weeks ago and I’ve been familiarizing myself with the types of calls that come into our consumer helpline. So far, what I’ve observed is that for people without health insurance, their options are usually limited. The system of care available to them is fragmented and uncertain as well as full of hoops to jump through. There are lengthy applications to fill out and numerous verifications to provide.
For one consumer who called, I tried contacting the Department of Social Services to find a direct number for her to call with her question about an application. I called DSS’s general number several times over a period of a few hours and was hung up on, the number was busy, or it rang indefinitely. When I finally got through to a person and asked for the phone number for a consumer to call about a new application, I was told that it was the number I had just been calling. I asked if there was someone else this consumer could call and was told the consumer has to call the general DSS information number. Now this consumer will have to deal with the same frustrations I faced, just to ask a simple question. Yet another barrier for an uninsured person to deal with before they can access health care.
Jen Ramirez