Consumer Resources

Health Industry Organizations

California Medical Association

Advocacy organization active in the legal, legislative, reimbursement and regulatory areas on behalf of California physicians and their patients. Includes information for patients on how to get medical records, make a complaint, and how to compare health plans.

Federal Agencies

U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration

Agency regulating employee benefit plans, including employer sponsored health benefits. Includes consumer information on health benefits.

U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Administers Medicare, Medicaid, and Child Health Insurance programs. Includes regulations and guidance on the programs, as well as resources for consumers to research providers, and frequently asked questions. See Medicare.gov for more information on Medicare premiums, available formularies, and prescription drug plans.

State Agencies

Department of Managed Health Care

Agency responsible for regulating all HMOs, some PPOs, and POS. Includes a list of all health plans licensed in California, information on health care consumer rights and benefits, how to file complaints against health plans, how to request an Independent Medical Review (IMR), and accompanying forms. HMO Help Center: 1-888-466-2219.

Office of the Patient Advocate

Independent state office in conjunction with DMHC to inform and educate health care consumers on rights and responsibilities as HMO enrollees. Information includes HMO guides and quality of care reports. Phone: (866) 466-8900.

Department of Insurance

Agency regulating state insurance industry, excluding HMOs. Includes all private indemnity insurance, some PPOs and POS. Includes a list of health care providers, information on how to file complaints against health plans, how to request an Independent Medical Review (IMR), and accompanying forms.

Department of Health Care Services

Agency overseeing safety net programs for California’s low-income and persons with disabilities. Information on a variety of programs including health care for children, specific medical conditions, and seniors. Includes information on Medi-Cal, California’s Children’s Services program, Child Health and Disability Prevention program, and In Home Support Services. General Information: 916-445-4171,

Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board

Part of Health and Human Services Agency, the board advises the state on reducing the number of uninsured persons. Information on Access for Infants & Mothers (AIM), Healthy Families, and the Major Risk Medical Insurance Program (MRMIP). Phone: (916) 324-4695.

Ombudsman Services for Medi-Cal Beneficiaries

Information and help for Medi-Cal beneficiaries with their mental health plans. Phone: (800) 896-4042 (California only); or (916) 654-3890 (local).

Department of Public Health

Information for consumers on health facility’s licensing and certification (acceptance of Medi-Cal and Medicare), and patient rights. General Information: (916) 558-1784.

County Services

County Hearings

A list of County Hearing Sites by address and phone number.

El Dorado County Department of Human Services

Information on Medi-Cal and County Medical Services Program (CMSP).

  • Placerville: 3057 Briw Road, Placerville, CA, 95667. Phone: (530) 642-7300; Fax: (530) 626-9060.
  • South Lake Tahoe: 3368 Lake Tahoe Blvd., Suite 202, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150. Phone: (530) 573-3200. Fax: (530) 542-9312.

Placer County Department of Health and Human Services

Includes information on Medi-Cal, emergency services, community clinics, and Medical Care Services Program (MCSP).

  • Auburn at DeWitt Center: 11519 B Avenue, Auburn, CA 95603. Phone: (530) 889-7610. Fax: (530) 889-7608.
  • Roseville: 100 Stonehouse Court, Suite A, Roseville, CA 95678. Phone: (916) 784-6000. Fax: (916) 784-6100.
  • North Lake Tahoe at Carnelian Bay: 5225 North Lake Blvd., CA 96140. Phone: (530) 546-1900. Fax: (530) 546-1912.

Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance

Includes information on Medi-Cal and County Medically Indigent Services Program (CMISP). General Information: (916) 874-2072.

Yolo County Department of Employment and Social Services

Information on Medi-Cal and Yolo County Healthcare for Indigents Program (YCHIP). Address: 137 N. Cottonwood Street, Woodland, CA 95695. Phone: (530) 666-8645.

Other Issues

National Disability Rights Network

A non-profit disability rights organization that provides links to local services to individuals with disabilities and consumer guides.

Mental Health America

Dedicated to improving the mental health of all individuals, preventing mental disorders and achieving victory over mental illnesses through advocacy, education, research, and service. The website includes fact sheets and advocacy position statements.

Senior Legal Hotline

Assists seniors (60 and older) with a wide variety of legal issues at no cost to the senior.

California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR)

A non-profit information and advocacy organization for nursing home residents, their families, and friends. CANHR maintains information on all nursing homes in California, including profiles of their services, citations, complaints and deficiencies, as well as lists of nursing homes by county.

California Hospital Free and Discount Payment Programs

If you are uninsured or have high healthcare costs, you may be eligible for free or discounted hospital care. California law requires hospitals to offer reduced rates to many uninsured and underinsured patients that are low and moderate income, and to have policies about who qualifies for free care. You can search for your hospital’s policy on their website.

Health Consumer Alliance

HCA is a partnership of consumer assistance programs operated by community-based legal services organizations. The common mission is to help low-income people obtain essential health care. HCA’s local Health Consumer Centers operate in thirteen counties that, together, include more than three fifths of poor Californians: Alameda, El Dorado, Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Placer, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo and Yolo.

California Health Advocates

A non-profit organization dedicated to Medicare beneficiary advocacy and education for Californians. Offices in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Oakland and Santa Ana.

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