Nonprofit Partner Spotlight: the Pennsylvania Health Law Project

2023 marks the Pennsylvania Health Law Project’s 30th anniversary as a nonprofit! PHLP is so excited to celebrate this milestone with the community. For 30 years, PHLP has been standing with vulnerable Pennsylvanians and helping them access one of the basic necessities of life: health care. During the last three decades, PHLP has become widely recognized as a respected expert and consultant on access to health care for low-income consumers, seniors, and persons with disabilities. PHLP pursues its mission through a proven mix of strategies, including free legal services, systemic advocacy, and community education.

Through a Statewide Helpline, PHLP serves thousands of individuals from across the state each year. By listening to clients’ stories, PHLP translates personal experiences into a legal problem to be solved. Sometimes that means challenging a decision to deny or stop Medicaid benefits or challenging Medicaid plans when they reduce or deny services.

Taking what is learned from individual cases, PHLP advocates for large-scale policy changes that help others across the state. For instance, in 2021, Act 69 was signed into law expanding the eligibility criteria for the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD) Program. This expansion means people with disabilities who have MAWD can get higher-paying jobs, accept a pay raise or promotion, or work more hours.  PHLP has long supported MAWD expansion efforts by working with the group of advocates with disabilities who identified the problem, developed a solution, and obtained the support of key state legislators which led to the passage of Act 69. We used our legal expertise to help develop the explanation for how this expansion was legally permissible as well as necessary for people with disabilities to get and keep competitive integrated employment that pays well without the risk of losing essential supports that are only available through the Medicaid program.

PHLP is proud to build capacity among consumers, health care providers, and advocates by getting out in the community to provide education and training.  Using the law and advocacy, PHLP ensures that Pennsylvanians meet their most basic needs and have a pathway to opportunity.

Learn more about PHLP’s mission and how you can support this vital work at