- A Consumer Guide To Handling Disputes With Your Employer Or Private Health Plan - The Kaiser Family Foundation
The Kaiser Family Foundation provides this useful guide for how to pursue "internal reviews" (the health plan's own grievance process) as well as "external reviews" (an independent appeals process) of your private health insurance claim denial. The guide also helps explain health insurance coverage and relevant state and federal laws.
- Confronting the Most Common Reasons Why Medicaid Agencies Say No to Durable Medical Equipment Requests: Strategies for Turning a No into a Yes - Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc.
The spring 2008 edition of the AT Advocate, the newsletter of the National AT Advocacy Project.
- How To Appeal A MassHealth Denial - Disability Law Center
Has MassHealth denied your request for "prior-approval" for DME (durable medical equipment)? This fact sheet from the Disability Law Center can help you make your appeal.
- How To Appeal An HMO Denial Of "Medical Necessity" - Office Of Patient Protection
External (independent) reviews of an HMO's (Health Maintenance Organization's) decision are now available through the Office of Patient Protection. External reviews are binding on the health plan. Frequently asked questions.
- Medicare Funding of Assistive Technology: Additional Resources to Support Your Advocacy - Neighbohood Legal Services, Inc. A handout explaining Medicare policies with additional resources prepared by the National Assistive Technology Advocacy Project.
For more on appealing denials by health plan type, see the Medically Necessary AT funding guide.
Disability Law Center - Massachusetts
The DLC provides advocacy, information, or referral for requests for disability related advocacy.
In the Boston area call:
Phone: (617) 723-8455/(800) 872-9992
TTY: (617) 227-9464/(800) 381-0577
In western Massachusetts:
Phone: (413) 584-6337 / (800) 222-5619
TTY: (413) 582-6919
Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC)
MLAC provides legal services to low-income people (up to 125% of the federal poverty level) throughout Massachusetts. Programs include the Medicare Advocacy Project (MAP) for low-income people improperly denied Medicare coverage, and the Disability Benefits Project (DBP) for low-income people with disabilities who have been improperly denied federal SSI or SSDI benefits. Additional service areas include General Support (family law, housing, income maintenance, health care access, consumer problems), and the Battered Women's Legal Assistance Project.
Legal aid programs are also available by region:
- Greater Boston Legal Services (MLAC) (Map)
197 Friend Street
Boston, MA, 02114 US
Voice: (617) 371-1234/(800) 323-3205
Fax: (617) 371-1222
TTY: (617) 371-1228
- Boston College Legal Assistance Bureau (Map)
24 Crescent Street, Suite 202
Waltham, MA, 02453-4088 US
Voice: (781) 893-4793
Fax: (781) 893-4799
- Community Legal Services & Counseling Center (Map)
One West Street
Cambridge, MA, 02139 US
Voice: (617) 661-1010
Fax: (617) 661-3289
- South Middlesex Legal Services (Map)
54 Waverly Street
Framingham, MA, 01702 US
Voice: (508) 620-1830
Fax: (508) 620-2323
- Volunteer Lawyers Project (LSC) (Map)
29 Temple Place, Suite 300
Boston, MA, 02111 US
Voice: (617) 423-0648
Fax: (617) 423-0061
Central and Western Region:
- Legal Assistance Corporation Of Central Massachusetts (MLAC) (Map)
405 Main Street, 4th Floor
Worcester, MA, 01608 US
Voice: (508) 752-3722
Fax: (508) 752-5918
- Western Massachusetts Legal Services (MLAC) (Map)
127 State Street, 4th Floor
Springfield, MA, 01103-1944 US
Voice: (413) 781-7814
Fax: (413) 746-3221
- Massachusetts Justice Project (LSC) (Map)
57 Suffolk Street, Suite 401
Holyoke, MA, 01040 US
Voice: (413) 533-2660/(800) 639-1209
Fax: (413) 535-1774
TTY: (413) 533-2660
- Neighborhood Legal Services (MLAC) (Map)
37 Friend Street
Lynn, MA, 01902 US
Voice: (781) 599-7730
Fax: (781) 595-2022
- Childrens Law Center Of Massachusetts (Map)
P.O. Box 710
Lynn, MA, 01903 US
Voice: (781) 581-1977
Fax: (781) 598-9364
- Merrimack Valley-North Shore Legal Services (LSC) (Map)
35 John Street, Suite 302
Lowell, MA, 01852 US
Voice: (978) 458-1465
Fax: (978) 458-3481
- South Coastal Counties Legal Services (MLAC)
P.O. Box 2507
Fall River, MA, 02722-2507 US
Voice: (508) 676-5022
Fax: (508) 676-8657
- New Center For Legal Advocacy (LSC) (Map)
257 Union Street
New Bedford, MA, 02740 US
Voice: (800) 244-9023
Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee
MHLAC provides advocacy and information for people with private or public insurance coverage who need help with their mental health services. MHLAC provides legal advice to people who can't get mental health services through their managed care insurer, can't get their insurance company to pay for mental health services that they've received, have had their mental health services cut off too soon, or aren't satisfied with the quality of the Mental Health services they've received. Call the MHLAC intake line, 617-338-2345 x20, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:30 to 1:00 p.m.
Office of Patient Protection (OPP) - Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH)
The Office of Patient Protection (OPP) at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health houses a "managed care ombudsman" to help answer questions for managed care consumers, carriers, or insurers. The OPP can help consumers appeal HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) decisions by having those decisions reviewed by independent health care consultants through an "external review."
The OPP was created when Massachusetts passed Chapter 141 of the Acts of 2000, one of the toughest HMO laws in the country. Anyone who receives health insurance coverage from a Massachusetts carrier, insurer or HMO is entitled to protections with regards to internal grievances, medical necessity guidelines, continuity of care and independent external reviews. The law does not apply to self-funded employer health plans, Medicare, Medicaid or federal employee plans.
Consumers as well as carriers and insurers who have questions about the laws, regulations and/or consumer rights can call the OPP at 1-800-436-7757.