Help with Insurance Issues
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Because we want to be sure that our visitors find the most relevant resources, we've listed these organizations in order of relevancy from most specifically relevant to most generally relevant to the topic of this page.
Population served: Everyone in the United States (check the website for availability in your area)
2-1-1 is the telephone number of a call center that offers information and provides referrals to health and human services for everyday needs and in times of crisis. Services vary from community to community.
Examples of service referrals include:
- Basic human need resources: food banks, clothing, shelters, rent assistance and utility assistance
- Physical and mental health resources: medical information lines, crisis intervention services, counseling, drug and alcohol intervention
- Employment support: unemployment benefits, financial assistance, job training, transportation assistance and education programs
- Support for older Americans and persons with disabilities: home healthcare, adult daycare, congregate meals, Meals on Wheels, respite care, transportation and homemaker services
- Support for children, youth and families: childcare, family resource centers, summer camps and recreation programs, mentoring, tutoring and protective services
Foundation for Health Coverage Education (FHCE)
Contact: (800) 234-1317
Population served: Anyone in the United States needing insurance
FHCE educates callers about free or low-cost insurance in their state. FHCE has developed a customized matrix for every state detailing insurance opportunities and has provided this matrix to each state's insurance professionals.
- Provides a call center (open 24/7) to help determine insurance eligibility
- Offers an eligibility determination tool on website
- Offers downloadable information about each state's matrix of public and private healthcare options
- Locates resources and applications for health coverage programs by state
Health Insurance Resource Center
Population served: Anyone in the United States seeking information regarding availability of a high-risk insurance pool for medical insurance coverage
This website offers a subsection that provides information about healthcare and medical coverage available from more than 30 states.
- Currently, 34 states offer some form of risk pool, and these risk pools cover about 183,000 people. (If your state does not have a risk pool, you might consider a defined-benefit - or mini-med - health plan)
- Some risk pools do an excellent job of providing alternatives for their citizens, while others do very little because their health insurance plans are not designed well or are not funded properly by their states - or they're simply unaffordable. At their core, risk pools are state-created, nonprofit associations that - in most states - do not require tax dollars for their operational purposes. A risk pool can be a temporary stopping point for individuals who are denied health coverage - or for individuals who need to fill a gap in insurance coverage
Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF)
Contact: (800) 532-5274
Population served: Patients in the United States with any diagnosis
PAF seeks to safeguard patients through effective mediation assuring access to care, maintenance of employment and preservation of their financial stability relative to their diagnosis of life-threatening or debilitating diseases. It offers a variety of programs and services for patients and caregivers.
- Assists in health insurance and healthcare access problems through a staff of case managers
- Provides information about government and/or private health insurance programs
- Provides resource referrals for people with financial difficulties related to medical expenses
- Offers a Co-Pay Relief Program, which provides pharmaceutical co-payment assistance to patients already covered by health insurance who financially and medically qualify
Medicare Rights Center (MRC)
Contact: (800) 333-4114
Population served: People who are Medicare-enrolled or eligible, healthcare professionals
MRC is a source of healthcare information and assistance for people with Medicare. It helps older adults and people with disabilities access healthcare services.
- Provides information on available Medicare health plans, rights and benefits through a call center
- Provides an HMO hotline
- Provides an RxHelp hotline for healthcare professionals with information on discount resources
- Offers an interactive counselor online, as well as information and an eNewsletter
- Through its NY LINCS Project, provides counselors to assist limited-income New York residents in applying for Medicare benefits
Population served: People in the United States, diagnosed with cancer and/or HIV, who need assistance in obtaining information concerning health insurance, employment issues and other areas of need
Survivorship A-Z is a Web-based resource for information and referral.
- Provides a tool that asks a series of questions of the individual patient to then offer personalized information to address specific patient needs such as emotional well-being, financial resources, information about legal and insurance issues
- Offers online Community Message Boards on a variety of topics
- Provides information on a variety of issues relating to disease and "life after diagnosis"
Access to Benefits Coalition (ABC)
Contact: (202) 479-6670
Population served: Medicare-eligible persons who have limited income and resources
ABC ensures that Medicare beneficiaries with limited means know about all available resources for accessing prescription drugs and reducing their costs. Help is available online and in person at ABC branches in some states.
- Provides a web tool, BenefitsCheckUp, which helps beneficiaries understand and assess their current situation before enrolling in a Medicare Prescription Drug plan. BenefitsCheckUp also helps to determine if they qualify for Medicare's Extra Help or other prescription savings programs and allows them to apply for many of these programs online
- As part of My Medicare Matters Campaign, offers a comprehensive community-based outreach and education program to help people with Medicare understand Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage, assess their personal situation, understand their choices, compare plan options and make the enrollment decision that is right for their health and financial situation
Contact: (586) 776-3900 (referral line) or (800) 598-4668 (order literature only)
Population served: People over the age of 50, retired or not
AARP focuses on education and service for legal U.S. residents 50 and older with emphasis on those at social and economic risk.
- Provides consumer information
- Provides Medicare information and guidance
- Provides volunteer-assistance programs to facilitate understanding of and access to public benefits
- Provides informational publications in English and Spanish
Contact: (800) 675-8416
Population served: People with specific blood-related cancer diagnoses (as well as other selected diseases), living in the United States, who have health insurance coverage (public or private) and who meet financial criteria
HealthWell Foundation provides financial assistance to eligible patients to cover certain out-of-pocket health care costs, including:
- Prescription drug coinsurance, co-payments and deductibles
- Health insurance premiums
- Other selected out-of-pocket healthcare costs
Patient Services Incorporated (PSI)
Contact: (800) 366-7741
Population served: People with certain chronic illnesses or conditions including some blood cancers
PSI helps people with certain chronic illnesses or conditions locate suitable health insurance coverage and access ways to satisfy high co-payments.
- Provides assistance with the cost of health insurance premiums associated with COBRA, State High-Risk Insurance Pools, open enrollment, Guaranteed Issue Policies and HIPAA conversion policies
- Provides assistance with prescription co-payments (private insurance and Medicare Parts B and D)
Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC)
Contact: (866) 843-2572
Population served: People with cancer, their families, friends, employers, healthcare professionals and others coping with cancer in the United States
CLRC provides free and confidential information and resources on cancer-related legal issues.
- Offers a call center that provides information about relevant laws and resources relating to health insurance issues
- Offers conferences, seminars, workshops, outreach programs and other community activities regarding legal and health insurance issues
National Cancer Legal Services Network (NCLSN)
Contact: phone numbers for specific member organizations are found via the website
Population Served: people living with cancer, their families and caregivers who face non-medical issues that can be resolved with the help of legal advocacy programs
NCLSN seeks to increase the availability of legal services for people affected by cancer. It has more than 30 programs that offer free legal assistance and referrals. Included in the NCLSN membership are private law firms, non-profit legal aid organizations, medical-legal partnerships, bar associations, cancer support organizations, individual attorneys, social workers, and patient navigator programs.
Through direct work, educational efforts and advocacy, this multidisciplinary coalition helps to alleviate the legal and economic consequences of cancer so that those affected may focus on their medical care and quality of life.
Legal services programs assist with:
- Insurance disputes
- Public benefits
- Employment issues
- Future care and custody planning
- Estate Planning
- Advance directives