Northwest Health Law Advocates Programs
Education and Training
NoHLA provides education and training on public health insurance programs and related laws and policies to advocates and providers around the state (social workers, benefit counselors, medical providers, attorneys and others). We typically reach several hundred advocates annually, with in-person, phone and web-based training. Recent training has focused on the impact of state budget cuts on safety net health care programs, restoring Basic Health coverage to immigrants, and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
NoHLA provides support to legal organizations representing low-income persons, including children, families, seniors, immigrants and people with disabilities. Our expertise in public health insurance programs - including eligibility, benefits and clients' rights - is instrumental in helping advocates around the state access and maintain health care coverage for their clients.
Policy and Legal Analysis
Through legal policy analysis, NoHLA leverages the knowledge and expertise of our small staff to effect changes in public health insurance programs that impact large groups of beneficiaries. Analysis ranges from the specific impacts of laws and policies on low-income people to analyses of how health systems can change to better meet the health needs of people with limited resources.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In a significant court victory for NoHLA, co-counsel Riddell Williams, and our clients, federal judge James Robart granted our request for a Preliminary Injunction in a class action lawsuit challenging the disenrollment of immigrants from the state's Basic Health program in March 2011. The judge held that Washington State's actions in excluding these immigrants was likely to violate both the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the U.S. Constitution.
Over 11,000 immigrants disenrolled in March were offered the opportunity to re-enroll in early November, and "lawfully present" immigrants are once again eligible for the program.
Implementation of the Affordable Care Act involves many state-based decisions. NoHLA is playing a key role representing consumers in the development of plans for implementation of national health reform in Washington State and is viewed as a key resource because of our legal expertise. NoHLA urgently needs general support to augment our staff in light of the tremendous need for policy and legal analysis and advocacy as health reform is fully implemented over the next few years.