Finding the right health insurance plan for you or your family can be a
complicated matter. That’s why Washington Hospital offers Health
Insurance Information Services (HIIS), a free, confidential program available
year-round to all members of the community.
“We help residents get the information they need to navigate the
complex world of health insurance,” explained Kristi Caracappa,
coordinator of the HIIS program. “Our goal is to enable people to
make informed decisions about what is best for themselves and their families.”
If you and/or your spouse have insurance through your employer, HIIS can
help you explore the options so you can find the best plan to fit your
needs. That includes:
- Determining what to look for in a plan
- Understanding the difference in choices for open enrollment
- Maximizing benefits when spouses are enrolled in separate plans
If you are turning 65 or you have become eligible for Medicare due to a
disability, the service will provide Medicare enrollment counseling. This
includes helping you to investigate the different options available, such
as managed care, Medicare Supplement plans, and Medicare Part D Prescription
If you are interested in Medi-Cal enrollment, HIIS has information on which
providers accept Medi-Cal. Financed by the State of California and the
Federal government, Medi-Cal is a medical assistance program for individuals
in the state who are medically indigent and meet certain criteria.
“We don’t enroll people in Medi-Cal,” said Caracappa,
“but we can help connect people with local doctors and community
clinics that take Medi-Cal patients.”
“Another service we provide is to help people learn about and complete
their advance health care directive,” added Caracappa. “We
have access to a variety of tools to assist you in understanding what
this important document means and how it enables you to plan and prepare
for the future.”
Often called advance directive, the form enables you to express your wishes
about medical treatment in the event that you become unable to communicate
for yourself. At Washington Hospital, all patients over age 18 who are
admitted to the Hospital are offered information about advance directives
and asked if they have filled one out.
“If you put your wishes in writing ahead of time, before there is
a problem or crisis, it is less scary,” commented Caracappa. “You
can take comfort in knowing that, in an emergency situation, your care
will be conducted the way you want.”
The service can also advise you about where the completed advance directive
should be stored so it is readily available when needed. For those who
have completed an advance directive, Washington Hospital will keep the
document in their medical record.
You can reach the Health Insurance Information Service by calling (800)
770-9447 anytime from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Answers
to your questions are available over the phone, or you can set up an appointment
for a personal consultation.
To find out more about Washington Hospital Health Insurance Information
Service, go to www.whhs.com and click on Community Connection.