Help Center Brochure

Alternate Formats

A free service for Californians

Do you have a problem with your health plan? In California, you have a place to go—the Help Center.

The Help Center is part of the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC). DMHC is the state agency that oversees health plans. DMHC protects the rights of health plan members. DMHC staff includes medical and legal experts.

All Help Center services are free of charge.

  • The Help Center provides telephone help in many languages.
  • We can give you information in different forms, such as large print, Braille, online, and audio.

File a Complaint

The Help Center can help you with problems and concerns like these:

  • I have to wait too long for an appointment.
  • My health plan says I can't get care that I think I need.
  • I have a problem with a bill.
  • I cannot get services in my language (including sign language).
  • I use a wheelchair and I cannot get a mammogram because the machine requires me to stand.
  • I cannot get forms in large print.
  • My doctor is no longer in my plan's network, but I am in the middle of treatment.
  • I have a problem with my Medi-Cal Managed Care Plan.

Apply for IMR

The Help Center can help you apply for an Independent Medical Review (IMR). This is a kind of appeal or complaint. You can apply for IMR if your health plan denies care:

  1. Your plan won’t approve a service you want, and says you do not medically need the service.
    For example, you and your doctor think you need a wheelchair. But your plan says you don’t need it.
  2. Your plan won’t pay for a treatment for a serious condition because it says the treatment is experimental. This is a treatment that’s still being studied.
  3. Your plan won’t pay for emergency care that you received.
    In an IMR, doctors outside your health plan review your case. Your health plan must do what they decide.
    • More than half of IMRs are decided in the patient’s favor.
    • IMR is free, fast, and easy.

Take the First Step

  • We can explain your rights and how to file a complaint.
  • We can explain how to qualify for an IMR and how to apply.
  • Urgent issues are decided quickly. Other IMR issues are usually decided within 45 days.
  • Your privacy is safe. We keep your name and medical information confidential.

Call the Help Center at 1-888-466-2219
Get complaint and IMR forms at

Health Coverage

With changes in health care, there are more ways to get health coverage.

Plans cannot refuse to cover people who have disabilities or "pre-existing conditions." They cannot put a limit on lifetime or yearly costs. They cannot cancel your coverage just because you have a costly health condition.

The Help Center can help you find information on:

  • Covered California, the health insurance marketplace.
  • Health plans for people with both Medicare and Medi-Cal.
  • Medi-Cal health plans.

If the Help Center cannot help you directly, we will connect you to a program that can.

Fact Sheets

For People with Disabilities

  • Physical Access to Your Doctor’s Office and Medical Equipment: For people with physical disabilities
  • Communication Assistance for Your Health Care: If you have a vision disability
  • Communication Assistance for Your Health Care: If you are hard-of-hearing or deaf
  • Keeping Your Doctor: Continuity of care
  • Getting Health Care Benefits and Services

Read or download fact sheets at

Order by phone 1-888-466-2219

California Department of Managed Health Care Help Center

The Help Center provides help in many languages and formats. All services are free.

Voice: 1-888-466-2219
FAX: 1-916-255-5241
TTY: 1-877-688-9891

Mailing address: Help Center
Department of Managed Health Care
980 9th Street, Suite 500
Sacramento, CA 95814-2725

A Free California Government Service

Department of Managed Health Care Help Center
Making sure you get the right care at the right time.

Need Help with Your Health Plan?

Call the DMHC Help Center


or submit an Independent Medical Review/Complaint Form

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