About Us: Frequently-asked Questions

What does PHLP do?

PHLP provides free legal services and advocacy to Pennsylvania residents having trouble accessing publicly-funded health care coverage and services. We accomplish this by:

  • helping individual clients through our Helpline;
  • educating health care consumers, advocates, and providers; and
  • advocating on behalf of our clients at the federal, state, and local level for policies and practices that will best address their needs and protect their rights.

Who does PHLP help?

PHLP helps Pennsylvanians – especially low-income families, persons with disabilities, and the elderly – who are struggling to obtain health care coverage or services. We specialize in helping individuals and families access health care coverage and services through programs such as Medical Assistance, CHIP, and Medicare.

Can PHLP help me if…

I’ve recently lost my insurance coverage?

Yes. PHLP can tell you if you are eligible for a publicly-funded insurance program (for example, Medical Assistance or CHIP). If the insurance you lost was a public program, we can also tell you if your benefit was properly stopped and, if appropriate, represent you in an appeal.

My health insurance will not pay for my prescription (or other service)?

Yes. PHLP can help you if your insurance is through a public program such as Medical Assistance or CHIP. We can assist you and the doctor who prescribed the medication or service to ensure that you receive the treatment you need.

I’m uninsured?

Yes. PHLP can tell you if you are eligible for a publicly-funded insurance program (for example, Medical Assistance or CHIP). If you are not eligible for any of these insurance programs, PHLP may be able to help you get the health care you need through other programs or funding sources.

I’m having trouble with my doctor or am unhappy with the care I’ve received?

No. PHLP cannot help you if you want to bring a lawsuit because you’re unhappy with the quality of a health care service you received. This type of case, often called a negligence or malpractice claim, is handled by private attorneys.

I’m trying to get a Power of Attorney or to establish guardianship of a relative or friend?

No. PHLP does not handle these types of cases.

I have unpaid medical bills?

Sometimes. PHLP can advise you on (1) hospital charity care programs and (2) coverage through Medical Assistance (if your debt is less than four months old). Otherwise, we do not handle medical debt matters.

Are Helpline services confidential?

Yes. PHLP is a law office and all communications with our attorneys and paralegals are covered by attorney-client privilege. We will not disclose any information about you to anyone outside of PHLP without your permission.

Does PHLP charge a fee for its services?

PHLP does not charge individual clients for its services, regardless of the client’s income. Clients with the ability and the desire to support our services may do so by making a donation. We may charge for conducting trainings and presentations to community organizations or groups.

How is PHLP funded?

PHLP is a private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. We receive funding from Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, foundations, and private donations.

Is PHLP part of the government?

No. PHLP is a non-profit law office and is not part of the state or any government agency.

What happens when I call the PHLP Helpline ((800) 274-3258)?

When you call our Helpline, you will reach a voicemail box where you can leave a brief message with your name, phone number, and a short description of the reason for your call. We will return your call as soon as possible.

If you email PHLP, the process is similar. You will hear back shortly from one of our legal staff, who will typically ask for your phone number so that we can discuss your problem in detail.

Do you take walk-ins?

We recommend that you call our Helpline first. If your matter is urgent, explain your situation in your message and we will return your call as soon as we can. If you do not have regular access to a phone, we can arrange to meet with you in person.

Can I contact PHLP on behalf of a relative or friend?

Yes. However, depending on the circumstances, we may ask to speak to your relative or friend directly.



Having trouble accessing publicly funded health care coverage or services? Call…


or email us at staff@phlp.org.