Garden State residents don’t necessarily take no for an answer if their health insurance company refuses to pay for certain doctor-recommended medical procedures.

You can appeal the decision to an independent panel at a State level but few people even know about it.

In a new law signed by Governor Chris Christie last month, hospitals and other health care providers will soon be required to provide patients with more information about the Independent Health Care Appeals Program (IHCAP) administered by the Department of Banking and Insurance.

During a press conference held at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune Tuesday, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R) and State Senator Diane Allen (D) say the patients rights bill (S-2145/A-1816) was needed because millions of eligible Garden State Residents were not taking advantage of the program. According to Casagrande “It’s been hidden. It’s a completely hidden program. Only 400 and some odd people used it last year. Over 2.9 million people are eligible for the program.”

Casagrande says “This bill will require doctor’s offices and hospitals to train their Physicians, Nurses and Staff on the ins and outs of the independent Health Care Appeals program here in New Jersey. ” Casagrande says it also suggest that signs be posted about the program.

Information about the soon to be well known Health Care Appeals Program, that cost $25 dollars to apply for, is avaiable at the State DOBI web site.  The Phone number to call is 1 888 393-1062.