Health Law Unit

The Health Law Unit (HLU) assists clients and advocates on issues related to public health programs.

These issues include:

  • Barriers to enrollment in and retention of health insurance plans
  • Denials of health care services
  • Coordination of benefits
  • Access to care for uninsured persons
  • Immigrant access to health care
  • Reduction of medical debt

Did you know…

In New York State, there are nearly three million persons without health care insurance, 1.3 million of whom are, in fact, eligible for coverage through public programs.*

Case Example

Ms. C was uninsured and needed her gallbladder removed. After being unable to keep food down for several days, she visited the emergency room, explaining that she could not pay for the cost of her hospitalization. Despite repeatedly stating that she had no insurance, Ms. C was transferred to an inpatient ward, where hospital staff told her not to worry about the bills. After a successful surgery, Ms. C received medical bills totaling $67,000. With nowhere to turn, Ms. C contacted Legal Aid’s HLU hotline, and within three months, HLU staff helped negotiate a 70% reduction of her bills.

*According to a study published October 2005 by the United Hospital Fund and the Urban Institute.