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The Health Education and Advocacy Unit (HEAU) in Maryland’s Consumer Protection Division assists health care consumers with health insurance problems, medical billing disputes, and health equipment warranty issues. HEAU provides a mediation and arbitration service to consumers to help resolve their complaints against health insurers, health care providers and others. We are committed to serving all health care consumers, and welcome bilingual volunteers (currently the greatest demand is for Spanish-speakers).
Your primary responsibility as an HEAU volunteer will be mediating written consumer complaints about billing and reimbursement problems with health care providers and health insurers. You will be assigned your own cases and be responsible for working with your supervisor to analyze the information, develop mediation strategies, and communicate with businesses, consumers, and other parties in an effort to resolve the complaints.
HEAU also operates a hotline which the public can call to discuss health-related insurance, billing and equipment problems, and to seek advice about consumer rights and remedies. Many of these calls result in the filing of written complaints which are assigned to volunteers for mediation.
As an HEAU volunteer, you will develop a greater understanding of the health care financing system, the challenges facing consumers in the health care market, consumers’ perspectives and expectations of health care providers, the role of a consumer advocacy agency in the market, and the diverse challenges facing those policy makers who seek to reform the health care system. You will also learn about mediation as a method of resolving disputes and receive practical hands-on experience in using various mediation techniques to resolve consumer complaints.
The office is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.