Legal Aid helps vulnerable children, adults, and seniors, facing legal barriers to obtaining needed health care. We not only help individuals access health care but we also engage in systemic advocacy on a country-wide and statewide level, helping thousands of people get well and stay well.

Legal Aid helps a struggling family access health care


Recently, Legal Aid received a call from a couple, Maria and  Frank, who were denied a special enrollment period for Covered California. They had tried on their own to sign up for Covered California, after discovering that the health insurance plan they previously purchased was fraudulent and not compliant with the Affordable Care Act rules. This company, located out of state, had purposefully solicited Maria and Frank, and made numerous false misrepresentations in trying to sell their plans. It was only after their daughter was hospitalized and they tried unsuccessfully to use the health insurance did Maria and Frank realize they were defrauded.


Maria and Frank subsequently tried to file a complaint with the Department of Managed Health Care and while DMHC acknowledged there were problems with the health insurance company in question, they were unable to act on the problem or provide a resolution. Maria and Frank turned to the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County and met with an attorney.


After the attorney’s informal resolution process with Covered California proved unsuccessful, she requested and represented Maria and Frank in a hearing.


As a result of Legal Aid’s advocacy, the Judge decide in Maria and Frank’s favor, not only ruling that they were entitled to a special enrollment period but also including language regarding their qualification for a hardship exemption from the many months of insufficient health coverage.


If you have been denied from signing up for health insurance because there is no open enrollment and you believe you qualify for a special enrollment period, contact Legal Aid’s Health Consumer Center at 1-650-558-0915.

Legal Aid's Health Care Access Programs

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 health care and health insurance coverage in our community.


The LIBRE Project (Linking Immigrants to Benefits and Resources)

Helps immigrant individuals and families living in San Mateo County accesshealth care benefits. Legal advice and representation is provided at various locations throughout the County.

Peninsula Family Advocacy Program (FAP)

Helps patients and their families from medical-legal partnership (MLP) clinics and hospitals access to health care services and address problem with health insurance coverage.


Senior Advocates Program

Helps San Mateo County residents age 60 and over to resolve matters involving health care benefits.


Teen Parents Project

Helps pregnant and parenting teens to resolve legal issues so that they can access medical care.