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Guide Documents Resources for Appeal

November 19, 2001|Benedict Carey

In their many disputes with consumers each year, the nation's health plans have a huge advantage--bureaucracy. HMOs have tedious grievance processes, and patients often choose to give up rather than face all the forms and documents and phone calls. That's why a new consumer guide could prove valuable.

The Kaiser Family Foundation, an independent research group, has joined Consumers Union in compiling resources to help members of private health plans navigate the grievance maze. The guide gives a complete rundown of who can complain, when, and what the ground rules are. The guide can be found online at http://www.kff.org/consumerguide/ or the health section of the Consumers Union Web site at http://www.consumersunion.org or by calling (800) 656-4533.

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