California Employers Offer Health Advocates to Help Retirees with Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit

San Rafael, CA, January 11, 2006 — CareCounsel, LLC, an employer-sponsored health benefits advocacy service, reported today on its efforts to assist California retirees in late 2005, as they attempted to understand how the new Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit works in conjunction with their retiree health benefits. Groups providing CareCounsel's health benefits advocacy program for their retirees including California State Automobile Association, Santa Barbara County Employees' Retirement System, San Joaquin County Employees' Retirement Association, San Diego City Employees' Retirement System and the Cities of Colton, Inglewood, Monrovia and Santa Barbara.

"Because of all the confusion on Medicare D enrollment requirements and the prescription benefits offered by our current health plan carriers," stated Robert Palmer, Retirement Administrator for the San Joaquin County Employees' Retirement Association, "we have relied on CareCounsel to assist our retirees with understanding the choices and consequences that are available."

"The new Medicare prescription drug benefit has been very confusing for seniors, particularly as it interacts with their existing employer-sponsored benefits," acknowledged Lawrence N. Gelb, President and CEO of CareCounsel. "That is why it is so important that progressive employers offer an independent trusted agent to help their retirees sort through the information and misinformation that has bombarded them on a daily basis for the past two months, as well as helping them resolve the many problems that have occurred since January 1 related to the implementation of Medicare Part D."

"Having CareCounsel has greatly relieved the pressure on our Benefits staff, who do not have the time or expertise to counsel our retirees on the ins and outs of Medicare," noted Carl Herington, Manager, Retirement Benefits at California State Automobile Association. "And CareCounsel has greater credibility, because your people are not part of an insurance company...they're independent and not selling any product or service."

CareCounsel, based in San Rafael, California is the pioneer in employer-sponsored health benefits advocacy, providing services to employees, retirees and their family members since 1997.

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