The Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County's Health Consumer Center helps low-income San Mateo residents navigate the maze of today’s healthcare system with the ultimate goal of improving access to quality healthcare and health insurance coverage in our community. The Health Consumer Center is an affiliate of the Health Consumer Alliance, a partnership of consumer assistance programs operated by community-based legal services organizations whose common mission is to help Californians obtain essential health care.

The Health Consumer Center provides information, advice, and representation on the following high priority issues:

  • Terminations, denials, and procedural problems with health insurance, with emphasis on local, state, and federal health programs including Medi-Cal, Medicare, ACE/MCE, and Medicare Savings Programs (QMB, SLMB, etc.)
  • Denials or delays in receiving essential medical services
  • Significant medical debt arising from a failure of health insurance coverage

The Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County's Health Consumer Center, is the Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI) Ombudsman—for San Mateo County. The Coordinated Care Initiative, known locally as CareAdvantage CMC, is a statewide project to improve healthcare access for seniors and persons with disabilities who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medi-Cal. Eligible beneficiaries can receive additional services through their health insurance plan including care coordination, long term services and supports, and simplified billing. If you are enrolled in a Medicare/ Medi-Cal plan in San Mateo County through the Health Plan of San Mateo and are having problems, or you have questions about the program, please call the Health Consumer Center at 650-517-8907 or the state hotline at 877-734-3258.

Legal Aid’s Health Consumer Center also partners with private attorneys from Fenwick & West and Facebook to run free monthly clinics to assist seniors and disabled adults who are experiencing difficulty accessing health care due to affordability issues created by their Medi-Cal "Share of Cost". Location and date of the Clinic vary from month to month, and operate on an appointment only basis. Please call the Health Consumer Center directly at (650) 517-8907 if you would like to schedule an appointment.
In addition to providing free direct legal services, we also work closely with the County and other key institutions in order to trigger systemic change within the various agencies that serve our clients. Public education and community outreach are integral components of our work and we are available to provide trainings for both health consumers and community-based organizations in a variety of areas such as Medi-Cal "Share of Cost", rights and responsibilities under the Affordable Care Act, and access to premium assistance under Covered California, California’s new health insurance exchange.

For Tip Sheets on a variety of health issues, please visit our Health Care Resources page.

For more information on Legal Aid's Health Consumer Center:
please call (650) 558-0915. 

Legal Aid would like to thank the Health Plan of San Mateo, the California Endowment, the California Department of Managed Health Care, Covered California, and individual donors for their funding support of the Health Consumer Center.