A Hat Tip to Consumer Help Lines

By Jennifer Sullivan

We wanted to share a quick update with our readers: One of our very first guest bloggers, Massachusetts Health Care for All’s Kate Bicego, was recently featured on the Washington Post’s WonkBlog. Bicego and her colleague Brian Rosman blogged for us back in October of last year about the important role that consumer help lines play in helping people learn about their coverage options, apply for coverage, and navigate the health coverage system, so that they can get and keep coverage as long as they are eligible.

The recent WonkBlog post applauds her work in Massachusetts, where the help line handled about 40,000 calls last year. It also takes a wide-angle look at the important role help lines will play in 2014, particularly in states with higher uninsured rates than Massachusetts. According to Bicego,

“I think in other states, where you have 25 percent uninsurance rate with people who have never had insurance, and have no idea about terms like premium, copay or deductible, it’s going to be a huge challenge.”

Help lines will be a critical part of the solution, and in the coming months, we look forward to sharing some best practices about just what makes these help lines successful. Stay tuned!

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