Santa Barbara County Implements Healthcare Advocacy Program

San Rafael, CA, September 6, 2000 — CareCounsel, LLC announced today that it has been selected by the County of Santa Barbara to provide its innovative Healthcare Assistance Program to the County's approximately 10,000 employees and dependents. Since the start of the year CareCounsel has added an additional 30,000 lives. Santa Barbara County joins the growing list of employers, including Hitachi Data Systems, Pillsbury Madison & Sutro, Tetra Pak, United Green Mark and Nikon Precision, that have launched the CareCounsel Program this year.

"We are excited about offering CareCounsel to supplement our existing HMO and Point-of-Service Plans," noted Scott Turnbull, The County's Employee Benefit Manager. "With health plans' increasing complexity involving various approvals, limitations, restrictions and requirements, we want to offer our employees additional assistance above what our internal staff could provide. Employees will also receive professional, confidential guidance in making a variety of important healthcare decisions for themselves and their families."

CareCounsel helps employees navigate the complex healthcare environment through a timely benefit that provides consumer education, advocacy and access to expert healthcare resources and information. Masters-trained staff provide "high-touch" assistance with selecting health plans, choosing primary care physicians and specialists, locating disease-specific resources and resolving access, claims and quality concerns with medical providers and health plans.

CareCounsel, based in San Rafael, California, is the country's leading provider of healthcare assistance programs, covering over 45,000 people around the country. The program is available to employers, labor health and welfare trusts, managed care organizations, benefit consulting firms and healthcare purchasing coalitions.

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