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GHI to Provide Independent Personal Health Advocate for Medicare Members

Effective January 1, 2008, Group Health Incorporated (GHI) has announced that its more than 10,000 GHI Medicare Choice PPO members may now call a toll-free number to converse with their own independent Personal Health Advocate (PHA) for assistance with healthcare and administrative issues. This new service is made obtainable through Health Advocate, Inc., the nation's leading health advocacy and Assistance Company.

Since 1937, GHI has been a leader in health insurance, committed to quality health care coverage for all New Yorkers, as well as those on limited incomes. According to GHI CEO Frank J. Brancinini, "The addition of the Health Advocate service to GHI Medicare Choice PPO Plans at no added cost exemplifies GHI's commitment to making quality health care coverage simple and affordable for those who qualify for Medicare."

Personal Health Advocates, typically highly trained Registered Nurses backed by a team of medical directors and managerial experts, help Medicare members resolve a range of issues together with insurance claims, billing, and payment problems. They help find the best doctors and hospitals; get second opinions; secure appointments with specialists, and research treatment options, as well as locate other providers. Personal Health Advocates also provide assistance with eldercare issues; help elucidate a medical condition; coordinate and arrange wellness services, and arrange transportation through community services, where obtainable.

Leibowitz, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Health Advocate, Inc. said, "We are very pleased to support GHI's Medicare Advantage members to help enhance their overall healthcare experience. Our personalized service is designed to facilitate better understanding of, and access to, medical services for seniors."

Medicare members will be connected to the same Personal Health Advocate each time they call, helping to make sure continuity of service. Members may call as often as needed, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time. After hours and during weekends, on-call staff is available to assist with issues that need to be addressed during non-business hours.



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