Health Law Advocates

Staff Attorney, Access to Care and Coverage Practice – HLA

About Health Law Advocates (HLA)

Health Law Advocates (HLA) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) public interest law firm committed to ensuring universal access to quality health care in Massachusetts. HLA provides pro bono legal services to Massachusetts residents with low incomes who face barriers to accessing health care coverage and services. HLA is committed to ensuring universal access to quality health care in Massachusetts, particularly for those who are most at risk due to such factors as race, gender, disability, age, or geographic location. HLA also engages in public policy advocacy, systemic litigation, and educational programming to promote access to care for all.

HLA furthers its mission of universal access to quality healthcare via three main areas of work:

  • Representing Health Care Consumers. HLA provides high quality, free legal assistance to income eligible Massachusetts residents experiencing difficulties with accessing or paying for health care.
  • Community Education and Outreach. HLA builds knowledge in communities about how to access physical and mental health services through well-regarded trainings and presentations throughout Massachusetts and by authoring publications that promote access to health care.
  • Policy Advocacy. HLA advocates for public policy reforms that help consumers access physical and mental health care. We offer our legal expertise and experience working with consumers to policymakers on the state and federal levels, as well as advocate for policy changes by health care institutions to enhance access to care and coverage.

Learn more about HLA at https://www.healthlawadvocates.org/.

The Opportunity

The Staff Attorney, Access to Care and Coverage Practice (ACC) will advance HLA’s critical mission by providing legal representation to income-eligible clients, advocating for policy reforms, and engaging in community outreach. This position is a unique opportunity for a lawyer dedicated to the public interest to join a team at the forefront of the movement to achieve health equity through the law.

HLA’s ACC Practice specializes in challenging errors in health insurance enrollment, fighting denials of coverage for specific services, and protecting patients from illegal medical billing and collection practices. We devote particular attention to the health care problems faced by immigrants, trans and gender diverse people, and patients with long-term care needs. This position is supervised by the Supervising Attorney for Public Programs Advocacy.

The Staff Attorney will primarily serve clients facing issues involving public health insurance benefits, but there will be some flexibility to assist clients with private insurance matters as needed.

Responsibilities

Provide Legal Representation to Clients (70%)

  • Serve as the legal representative for income qualified clients who primarily rely on state-sponsored health insurance to access health services. Cases typically involve denied enrollment in state coverage programs, denial of services by MassHealth or managed care plans, and/or unaffordable medical bills.
  • Represent clients in advocacy with government officials, health care providers, health insurers and Medicaid managed care plans, and in appeal hearings before the Office of Medicaid Board of Hearings.
  • Analyze medical, health insurance and other relevant records as needed. Conduct legal research and writing.
  • Work with clients and, where relevant, their families, social services providers, and medical providers, to challenge health care obstacles.
  • Manage case files and document all activities in our case management software.
  • Participate in litigation on cases involving public health care programs and medical debt, as well as state court appeals of final MassHealth determinations as needed.

Advocate for Policies that Remove Barriers to Care/Coverage (15%)

  • Identify patterns of problems across cases and, alongside other HLA staff and advocacy partners, develop and deliver policy proposals to address these health access barriers.
  • Attend coalition meetings with state officials, participate in strategy development and information sharing with the HLA team and partner organizations.
  • Draft and deliver testimony on regulatory/legislative proposals.
  • Develop and maintain strong working relationships with advocacy partners and represent HLA in advocacy coalitions.
  • Develop and maintain strong working relationships with MassHealth, the Health Connector, and managed care plans.
  • Serve as HLA’s point person on select MassHealth policy matters.

Conduct Outreach to Consumers, Health Care Providers, and Advocacy Groups (5%)

  • Develop and deliver presentations and trainings to consumers, medical providers, and other partner organizations to generate case referrals, build relationships, and educate communities about addressing current health access barriers.

Participate in HLA’s Efforts to Improve Internal & External Practices (3%)

  • HLA is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at the individual, organization, and system levels. All team members participate in our efforts to identify and dismantle instances of inequity within ourselves, within our organization, within our client community, and within the broader community and Commonwealth.

Administrative (7%)

  • Occasionally support the team with writing and editing grant proposals and compiling/analyzing data for reports.
  • Assist with interviewing and onboarding new ACC staff as needed.
  • Serve as “ACC Triage Attorney” for intake and ready-to-assign lists for a month-long tenure once or twice per year. In partnership with the ACC Director, the responsibilities of the “ACC Triage Attorney” include:
  • Reviewing relevant case documentation and release forms for cases on intake and on ready-to-assign lists.
  • Identifying relevant deadlines and urgent case matters that require immediate resolution.
  • Identifying cases that need additional information or documentation.
  • Identifying and preparing cases for referral to HLA’s Legal Network or other legal services organizations.
  • Collaborating with ACC Paralegals and ACC Director to determine when cases are ready to be assigned to relevant team members.

Qualifications

All HLA employees are expected to have the skills to:

  • Work both independently and as an effective team member.
  • Collaborate with and support staff at all levels of our organization.
  • Communicate clearly and professionally.
  • Demonstrate empathy and sensitivity while working directly with clients encountering crises.
  • Maintain confidentiality and, for attorneys, strict adherence to all professional responsibility requirements for the practice of law.
  • Demonstrate intellectual curiosity, openness, and the desire and ability to listen and learn.
  • Understand and believe in the mission of the organization.
  • Embody the values of the organization, including a commitment to decreasing inequity in our health care system and society as a whole.

Additional qualifications specific to this position are:

  • Juris Doctor degree and a license to practice law in Massachusetts.
  • 2+ years of experience in the legal or non-profit space as a practicing attorney. Experience in direct legal services or representing consumers in health care or consumer law matters is a plus.
  • Experience working with state and federal health care coverage and consumer protection laws, particularly Medicaid/MassHealth, the Affordable Care Act and M.G.L. c. 93A, is strongly desired.
  • Organized and efficient, capable of managing multiple cases with competing priorities.
  • Ability to work in a team environment while also being a proactive self-starter.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills including the ability to communicate complicated health care and public health concepts in an accessible and culturally appropriate manner.
  • Bilingual or multi-lingual capability preferred. Specifically in Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, and/or Cape Verdean Creole, but other languages are welcome, as well.
  • Public policy development or policy advocacy experience, preferably relating to health care policy is a plus.

Salary Range

$72,000 – $80,000 annualized

Benefits

  • Retirement Plans
    • 401(k) or Roth 401(k) retirement plans with a variable employer contribution. Employer contributions start after one year of service.
    • Your contributions vest immediately.
  • Medical Insurance
    • HMO and PPO Options with a generous employer contribution.
  • Dental and Vision Insurance
  • Paid Time Off
    • 20 vacation days per year
    • 3 personal days per year
    • 15 sick days per year
    • 12 paid holidays per year
    • 1 birthday day per year
    • 3 volunteer days per year
    • That’s a total of 54 days paid days of per year!
  • Medical and Dependent Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
    • FSAs allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars for healthcare and dependent care expenses
  • Life Insurance and Long-Term Disability Insurance
    • Life insurance at 2x your salary with a maximum of $400,000. The benefit is doubled in the event of accidental death.
    • Long-term disability benefit that covers 60% of salary after 90 days of disability
  • Outside Health Insurance Reimbursement
    • If you obtain health insurance elsewhere (typically through a parent, spouse or domestic partner), you are eligible for a taxable reimbursement.
  • Fitness Reimbursement
    • $150 per year
  • Parental Leave
    • Up to 12 weeks of protected leave to bond with your new child

To Apply

Our standard process is for applications to be submitted online at: https://hlainc.efficientapply.com/jobs/ where you will upload a resume and cover letter. A cover letter is required.

If this process is not accessible to you, please contact hr@hla-inc.org or 617-275-2985.

HLA is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We welcome applicants of all identities with regard to race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity, veteran status, and many other factors. We celebrate diversity and are committed to building an inclusive work environment where all team members are encouraged to be their authentic and whole selves