Pennsylvania Health Law Project: Helping People in Need Get the Health Care They Deserve

Health: Never Taken for Granted

Health is never taken for granted at PHLP. We are acutely aware that uninsured persons in good health are lucky. Only a few of us are fortunate enough not to need health care, and none of us can predict injury or major illness. 

PHLP stands by people in distress: people who did not do anything wrong but whose physical and mental health is compromised. The services we obtain for our clients are important to people’s well being, and provide peace of mind: the kind of peace we wish for anyone who needs medical care. 
At the heart of PHLP are the one million Pennsylvanians who live without health coverage, and the hundreds of thousands of children and disabled adults in the Medicaid (Medical Assistance) program. Their experiences and health care needs keep us grounded. We strive to help in every way we can: obtaining health coverage for the uninsured, restoring skilled nursing care for developmentally disabled children and adults, and counseling low-income seniors confused about Medicare enrollment. It is a privilege to do this work.
We are appreciative for the fellowship of the many agencies with whom we partner, and we thank every one of our donors because their support has improved the lives of thousands who have turned to PHLP for direct help. 
Happy Thanksgiving!  

PHLP Helps 53-year-old, Disabled Woman Re-Enroll in Medical Assistance

"Erin Martinez" is a 53-year-old woman living in Northeast Pennsylvania. Due to a previous accident, Ms. Martinez receives a modest income from the Social Security Disability (SSDI) program and had relied on Medicare and Medical Assistance (MA) to provide for her ongoing medical needs. Earlier this fall, she received a small cost of living increase to her SSDI payments, placing her $1 above MA’s income eligibility guidelines. Without the help of MA, Ms. Martinez had trouble making her modest income cover her medical costs as well as the rest of her daily needs, and she turned to PHLP for help. 
When Ms. Martinez shared her story with PHLP, we immediately recognized that this $1 was the only barrier between Ms. Martinez and access to the quality health care she needed. PHLP reviewed the income assessment of the County Assistance Office, and discovered inaccuracies. Ms. Martinez’s banking expenses—including account fees, checks, and the cost of transportation to the bank—should have been deducted to keep her income under the limit.
One month later, Ms. Martinez  called PHLP again. This time she had a new story to tell: she was re-enrolled in Medical Assistance and could access the health care she needed. She thanked PHLP for all its help and hung up the phone with a renewed sense of security that she could receive necessary medical treatment.

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Conference Announcement

On November 28, 2013, the National Nursing Centers Consortium will host a conference titled “Scalable Innovations for Nursing”. The conference will take place in Philadelphia.

What We're Reading

[PA HealthChoices] Medicaid Switch Still Causes Glitches, David Bruce, Erie Times-News, November 5, 2012

Amendments to Pennsylvania’s Medicaid State Plan, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Continuously Updated

Medicaid Managed Care Quality Oversight Support for State Quality Strategy and External Review Processes, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, November 19, 2012

Progress in Implementing Selected Medicaid Provisions of the Affordable Care Act: A Ten-State Analysis, The Urban Institute, November 19, 2012

High-Performance Health Care for Vulnerable Populations: A Policy Framework for Promoting Accountable Care in Medicaid, The Commonwealth Fund, November 16, 2012

Filling in Gaps in Consumer Assistance: How Exchanges Can Use Assisters, Families USA, November 2012

Promoting Community Living: Updates on HCBS & the ACA, National Health Law Program (NHeLP), October 2012
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The Pennsylvania Health Law Project is a nationally recognized expert and consultant on access to health care for low-income consumers, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. PHLP engages in direct advocacy on behalf of individual consumers while working on the kinds of health policy changes that promise the most to the Pennsylvanians in greatest need.
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