Health Insurance Options

412-255-1471 or 211

YWCA staff can help you apply for Medicaid, CHIP or ACA Marketplace health insurance.


Consumer Health Coalition at 412-456-1877 can help with filling out medical assistance forms and navigating that system. Pennsylvania Health Law Project has some very useful information on Medical Assistance in their health care guide at Call them for legal assistance at 1-800-274-3258.

PHLP also has a quickscreen tool that you can use to estimate eligibility for medical assistance:

The best way to know if you qualify for medical assistance is to apply. Some programs e.g. Charity Care programs at hospitals, require you to apply for and be turned down for medical assistance before they will consider you for their programs. To apply, call your local County Assistance Office for an application. The Allegheny County Assistance Office can be reached at 412-565-2146. For the phone number for the County Assistance Office in other counties, look in the Blue Pages of your local phone book under “State Government” and then under “Public Welfare Department”.

You can also apply online for medical assistance (as well as food stamps, cash benefits…) through the COMPASS website at:


The MAWD program gives individuals with illness or disability the opportunity to go back to work without fear of losing their health benefits. You can still receive social security and be eligible for the program.

To be eligible you must:

Be between the ages of 16 and 64
Be employed at least one hour per month and receiving compensation
Be mentally, physically, or developmentally disabled (You do not have to receive SSDI)

*Disability here can be defined as having a medical condition that, if left untreated, would interfere with your ability to work.

Earn less than 250% of the Federal Poverty Level – $29,700 per month as a single person in 2016
Have less than $10,000 in resources

You can apply online using the COMPASS website – or over the phone at the Department of Public Welfare HelpLine at (800) 692-7462.

The Consumer Health Coalition can also help with info or with the application process. 412-456-1877 x200.

800-986-KIDS (5437)

CHIP covers all uninsured kids and teens up to age 19 who are not eligible for Medical Assistance. No family makes too much money for CHIP because there is no income limit. Coverage is free for families that meet income requirements.


Information for consumers on insurance in PA. Terms, tips, etc. You can also file a complaint against a PA insurance provider on this site.



Very basic health coverage for those who meet income requirements. Has pre-existing condition clause.


Consumer Health Advocacy Organizations

Please feel free to add or edit resources or to comment on your experiences using the resources listed by using the comments function underneath each section. This site is meant to be a community resource. Our hope is that we can support each other in being active, informed health care consumers.

These organizations do political organizing around health care issues, and they also help individual consumers in trying to get health care. They can give you info, advice, and help you with applications for medical assistance, charity care, etc.

415 East Ohio Street, Suite 300
Pittsburgh, PA  15212
412-456-1877 x200

If you know someone who is uninsured and needs assistance in applying for public health programs (such as Medical Assistance or the Children’s Health Insurance Program – CHIP), please have them call the CHC helpline. The phone number is 412-456-1877 and our services are free.

“Consumer Health Coalition’s mission is to inspire a consumer movement to enhance access to quality, affordable healthcare in Southwestern Pennsylvania. We accomplish this mission by enrolling and educating individuals in free and low-cost health insurance programs. We also educate consumers and our community partners through health access related news and policy reports. Along with outreach and education we also organize consumers, offer training opportunities to enhance advocacy skills, and collectively develop agendas for health care reform.”

Toll Free Helpline 1-800-274-3258

PHLP’s toll-free Helpline is available to anyone living in Pennsylvania who needs help accessing health care coverage or services through the public health system. Legal advice, counseling, information, and referral services are available through the Helpline.

Not everyone needs a lawyer. When you contact PHLP, we may provide advice or coach you on ways to fix your problem on your own. If you do need a lawyer, we will talk to you about how we might represent you in hearings or other forums. Most of our work is done over the phone.


Community-created provider directory and resource listings.  Search for health care providers recommended by your fellow Pittsburghers and/or recommend someone yourself.  Great sections on how to recognize good health care, resource listings and more.


Harrisburg, PA
215-557-0822 x 107

Click here or call the above phone number to take action for health reform.

About the PA Health Access Network (PHAN)

The Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) is a statewide coalition of organizations working to protect high quality health insurance coverage for individuals and businesses and to expand coverage to the uninsured.

PHAN is working with local organizations and communities across the Commonwealth to turn public anxiety about declining health care coverage into a sustained public voice for reform. PHAN works to promote change at the state and national level by mobilizing affected constituencies, including consumers, health care providers, business, labor, the faith community, and the general public to press for a more accessible and affordable health care system…

PHAN Objectives:

1. To expand access for the uninsured in Pennsylvania;
2. To make comprehensive quality, affordable health care reform a major policy issue and;
3. To reform the private insurance system so that people have greater access to care.

The PHAN Leadership Team:

* Philadelphia Unemployment Project
* Consumer Health Coalition
* Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in PA
* SEIU State Council
* United Food and Commercial Workers 1776
* Pennsylvania Health Law Project
* Mayor’s Office of Consumer Affairs, City of Philadelphia
* Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center

900 Rebecca Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15221-2938

A Center for Independent Living (CIL) is a non-residential, non-profit, community-based human service agency. Its purpose is to enable people with disabilities to lead self-directed and productive lives within the community.