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Community and Internet Resources


Health and Care: Consumer Advocacy and Protection Services




National
State Listings:   CA / IL / ME / MA / NY / NC / OR / WI /    (Official USPS State Abbreviations)


National

Advancing Independence: Modernizing Medicare and Medicaid (AIMMM) has a primary mission to reform Medicare and Medicaid so to ensure all people with disabilities are afforded the highest level of independence possible. They advocate on behalf of people with disabilities to ensure they get the most out of these two health care programs. You are encouraged to share your story with AIMMM. For more information, e-mail directors@aimmm.org.

Families USA is a national non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans. They offer free membership to their Health Action Network, which distributes timely information and mobilizes people for action when appropriate. Their website focuses on such issues as Medicaid and Children's Health Medicare, Prescription Drugs, the Uninsured, Private Insurance and Communities of Color. They also offer helpful support material for health care advocates.

Long Term Care Insurance National Advisory Center is a non-profit organization in existence to educate consumers on long-term care insurance. This is a public service website staffed by volunteers, whose founding volunteer is a former insurance industry professional now retired and living with multiple sclerosis. Their informational website can help consumers avoid long term care insurance frauds, predators, tricks and traps?

Medicare Rights Center (MRC) is a national, not-for-profit, non-governmental organization that helps ensure that older adults and people with disabilities get good affordable health care. MRC provides telephone hotline services to individuals who need answers to Medicare questions or help securing coverage and getting the health care they need. Their education department works to teach people with Medicare and those who counsel them about Medicare benefits and rights. Through public policy efforts, MRC brings the consumer voice to the national debate on Medicare reform. For more information, visit their website and fill in their e-mail form or call their New York headquarters at (212) 869-3850.

National Health Law Program has been working for health care justice for low-income individuals for more than 30 years. Their website offers a range of helpful information and advocacy tools. More specifically, they offer the latest in health care news, a large library of useful publications, information on health care court cases and the approval of waivers, advocacy alerts and much, much more.

SafeMedicines.org is the website of the Partnership for Safe Medicines to help you avoid buying adulterated, counterfeit, improperly handled and other unsafe medicines.

Social Security Disability Legal Help This site offers health claims consulting legal help on Social Security Disability Insurance and SSI benefits.

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State Listings


California

Health Consumer Alliance is a partnership of consumer assistance programs operated by community-based legal service organizations. Their mission is to help low-income people obtain essential health care services. They operate in the counties of Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Francisco and San Mateo. Their website offers a great deal of information on the issue of health care. For more information, call (310) 204-4900 or e-mail hca@healthlaw.org.

Health Rights Hotline serves residents of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo Counties in California. The information on their website is designed to help the consumer take control of their health care by helping them understand their rights. Their website features consumer action guides, frequently asked questions, resources and links, and a number of helpful consumer reports. For more information, visit their website or e-mail counslor@hrh.org.

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Illinois

Campaign for Better Health Care (CBHC) has a goal to join together with consumers to build a responsive health care system that provides accessible and affordable health care. The campaign not only educates consumers on important health care reform issues, but also encourages them to take part in various activities supporting health care reform. They also offer consumer helplines that answer questions on a variety of health care issues. The Children's Helpline can be accessed by calling (888) 511-0290 and the Adult and Senior Helpline can be reached by calling (888) 544-8271. For more information on CBHC activities, call the Champaign office at (217) 352-5600 or the Chicago Office at (312) 913-9449.

Health and Disability Advocates (HDA), located in Chicago, Illinois, advocates for policies that promote economic security and provide health coverage to assure that low-income older adults, children and adults with disabilities lead secure and dignified lives. HDA offers advocacy and information services to consumers. Their website also features information on such programs as Circuit Breaker and Medicaid Buy-in, two programs designed to assist people with disabilities obtain the specialized health care they need. For more information, call (312) 223-9600 (Voice), (866) 584-8750 (TTY).

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Maine

Pine Tree Legal Assistance is a non-profit corporation providing legal assistance to people in the State of Maine whose income is one hundred twenty-five percent of the federal income poverty guidelines or less. They offer individualized council on a wide variety of issues, including those related to health care. Their website also offers information on Maine law relating to Health Care Issues. This web section offers links to helpful resources including those related to financial assistance. For more information, visit their website.


Massachusetts

Health Care for All is dedicated to making adequate and affordable health care accessible to everyone, regardless of income, social or economic status. Their goal is to empower consumers in Massachusetts to know more about the health care system and become involved in changing it. They are particularly concerned about the most vulnerable members of society - the uninsured, low-income elders, children, people with disabilities and newcomers to the country. Their work combines policy analysis, information referral, personal and legal advocacy, community organizing and public education. For more information, visit their website or call (617) 350-7279.

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New York

IPRO is an independent, not-for-profit corporation committed to assessing and improving the value of health care services received by consumers. Their website offers a wealth of information for health care consumers in New York, including comparisons of home care agencies and nursing homes, a variety of consumer education materials on such issues as Diabetes, flu and pneumonia Care, reduced cost dental care, and much more.


North Carolina

North Carolina Office on Disability and Health (NCODH) works to promote the health and wellness of persons with disabilities in North Carolina. The goals of the NCODH are to increase awareness and understanding of the health related needs of individuals with disabilities and to improve access and inclusion, among others. Their website offers informaiton on the following issues, Removing Barriers to Health Care, Physical Activity and Recreation, Health and Wellness, Women's Health, Parenting, Adolescents and Young Adults.

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Oregon

Medicaid Asset Protection Plan offers a free informational and counseling source for Oregon families that are providing long term care to a loved one. They assist families in qualifying for Medicaid while preserving most of their assets and savings. There is no charge for this service. For more information, call (866) 334-2243.

Health Care for ALL – Oregon (HCA-O) is working for secure, affordable health care for each and every Oregonian. Local Community Leadership Teams have formed in Portland, Albany/Corvallis, Eugene, and the Rogue Valley. For more information, visit their website or call (503) 777-5216.


Wisconsin

ABC for Health, Inc. located in Madison, Wisconsin, is a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to ensuring health care access for families. They provide health care consumers with information, advocacy tools, legal services, and support so that they may better understand America's health care financing system. The services they provide are health benefits counseling, legal assistance, policy advocacy, health care provider training and consultation, and consumer education. For more information, call (608) 261-6939.

Community Advocates offers a Behavior Health/Homeless Outreach with a mission to provide individuals and families with advocacy and services that meet their basic needs so they may live with dignity. Their vision is that they are a community in which each person envisions a future with hope. They were established in 1976. Community Advocates, Inc. is the largest human needs advocacy agency in Wisconsin. They are one of the few remaining community-based organizations of any kind that welcomes walk-in clients five days a week. For more information, contact them at 728 N. James Lovell St., Milwaukee, WI 53233 or for assistance, call 414-449-4777.

Waisman Center is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge about human development, developmental disabilities, and neurodegenerative diseases. Waisman Resource Center is a collection of several center-based programs that provide information and assistance to individuals who have questions about services and programs related to developmental disabilities and other special health care needs. The Bridges to Work is a collaboration between the Waisman Center, Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that is promoting systems change efforts that will increase the likelihood that persons with a disability can secure and maintain substantial employment without fear of loss of access to health insurance and other vital supports.

Wisconsin Council on Children and FamiliesHealth Care Policy Recommendations "Improve access to dental and mental health services – Many people who have health insurance are unable to get needed dental or mental health care. The next budget should fund innovative strategies that increasing access to dental care, such as funding public health care clinics that include dental services. The state also needs to approve legislation creating parity for insurance coverage of mental health services. Maintain adequate funding for the state’s health care safety net programs and avoid barriers that deter people from participating – The governor and legislature need to adequately fund Medicaid and BadgerCare and ensure that these critically important health services are not eroded. The budget should not be balanced by increasing premiums and co-payments, because that strategy has been shown to cause low-income people not to get needed and cost-effective treatment. ....

Reducing the number of uninsured families benefits taxpayers and those who do have insurance because it allows the health care system to focus on preventative care, rather than on more costly treatment of people who have already gotten very sick. It reduces the utilization of expensive emergency room care and hospital bad debt, which creates costs that get shifted to those who do have health insurance. "

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[Updated December 31, 2014]
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