What's New

Read NoHLA’s Comments on Health Care Authority's new Medicaid initiative: the "Global Waiver"

Washington's Health Care Authority (HCA) has proposed big changes in the Medicaid program that aim to improve how health care is delivered. HCA submitted its "Global Waiver" proposal to the federal government last month, requesting $3 billion to fund a Medicaid transformation that includes:

  • a transition to value-based purchasing of health care services
  • providing targeted community supports such as supportive housing
  • changes to the long-term support services offered to Medicaid and pre-Medicaid clients over age 65 and those with disabilities


NoHLA supports the goals of the proposals: to reduce avoidable use of high-cost services, improve population health, and pay for good care outcomes. We co-authored comments with Northwest Justice Project expressing the need for more detail on the long-term care proposal and raising concerns about the readiness and expanded role of regionally-based Accountable Communities of Health, the sustainability of the program beyond the 5-year demonstration period, and the need for transparency. We will continue to provide input and monitor the process as the state and federal government negotiate the terms and conditions of the demonstration project. Read our comments on the draft application submitted by NoHLA and Northwest Justice Project.

Making Access to Care a Reality

Friday, November 6, 2015
12:30 PM – 5:00 PM
K&L Gates, 925 Fourth Avenue, Suite 2900, Seattle, WA
4 general CLE credits pending approval

Click here to download CLE Flyer

Advocates have made great progress in ending discriminatory exclusions against transgender people in health plans issued in Washington State. But many transgender people continue to be denied coverage for medically necessary care by their health insurers and face difficulties navigating the process for appealing denials of coverage.

Please join the QLaw Foundation and community partners for a training to learn how to assist transgender clients who are denied coverage by their health insurers. The training is open to attorneys, law students, health care providers, and other advocates who work with transgender clients.

QUESTIONS? transhealth@qlawfoundation.org


Legislative & Budget Action in Washington State


This update is current as of July 23, 2015. NoHLA's two documents summarizing the outcome of the 2015 Washington Legislature’s actions related to health care access:

1. NoHLA’s summary of bills that passed and were signed by the Governor. The Legislative Summary is also available here as a Google Spreadsheet.

2. NoHLA’s summary of provisions in the Supplemental Operating Budget that relate to health care access. The Budget Summary is also available here Google Spreadsheet.

It’s not possible to convey the complexity of the budget in this document, so we have selected specific items based on the summaries for each agency. Any new spending related to the passage of legislation is not listed in the budget – the changes are described in the legislative summary. For more information visit our Legislative and Budget Action page.


A "Secret Shopper" Survey and Review of Carrier Filings and Formularies

A new report authored by Northwest Health Law Advocates, with assistance from NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, examines whether insurance companies selling health plans through the online marketplace, Washington Healthplanfinder, are complying with the ACA's contraceptive coverage requirement.

The report finds that insurance companies have misinformed women about expanded access to free birth control. The report is based on the findings of a "secret shopper" survey, a review of carriers' formularies and insurance form filings, and follow up communications with each insurance carrier.

For more information click here

Recent Media

Seattle Times Editorial: Patients must expect more from insurance providers on birth control

Sen. Patty Murray urges stronger enforcement of birth-control coverage

Kaiser Health News: ‘Free’ Contraception Means ‘Free,’ Obama Administration Tells Insurers


Inject Transparency Into Healthcare

Seattle Times calls on state Legislature to "open the curtains and shine light" on "the murky world of health-care insurance appeals." Read more here.

Improving Transparency in Insurance Decisions

NoHLA's new "Report and Recommendations on Washington States Independent Review System" recommends improvements in the system for collecting, analyzing, and making publicly available the decisions issued by Independent Review Organizations when consumers appeal a denial of health insurance coverage. Read more here.

NoHLA Survey of Health Care Navigators
and Assisters Identifies Issues that Need Attention

Washington has been largely successful in its rollout of health reform coverage expansions. But improvements are needed in some areas, and affordability is still a problem, according to NoHLA's new report on a survey of health care navigators and assisters.

Read our Report

Just Became Pregnant?

Enrolled in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) and just became pregnant? Read this FAQ to see how pregnancy may affect your health care coverage.

Coverage is Here!
Insurance Options in Washington

Washington Healthplan finder

Read our overview of Health Reform in Washington State and our more detailed guide to Coverage Options in Washington State. Then visit www.wahealthplanfinder.org to explore your options and sign up.

Efforts to Transform the Health System:
Ensuring That We All Get the Care We Need

A Continuing Legal Education Seminar
Sponsored by Northwest Health Law Advocates



Friday, November 20, 2015
Riddell Williams
1001 Fourth Avenue, Suite 4500, Seattle, WA 98154


Washington State leads the nation in transforming health coverage and care. From new proposals to offering supportive services through Medicaid, to a regional planning model involving stakeholder participation, to "value-based" contracting, our state seeks to model successful innovation.

Please join us for our annual CLE - a unique opportunity to hear from advocates, practitioners, and state officials about how health care in Washington is being transformed. This seminar will present information about new service delivery models being created across the state through Healthier Washington's Transformation project, the Health Care Authority's Medicaid Global Waiver application, a proposed overhaul of Medicaid Managed Care regulations, developments in state health care and insurance programs, and the role that advocates and stakeholders play in these efforts.

6.25 CLE general credits to be requested

More information to follow. 

If you want to receive the announcement and have not received NoHLA training announcements in the past, please email hafoc(at)nohla.org with the subject heading “November 20 CLE.”



In the Media

Now that she has a clean bill of health,
Amy is eager to plant her spring crops



What a great way to kick off Women's History Month. You still have time to #GetCovered

Read Roberta's latest Blog.





Think you don't need health insurance?





Check out Joie's YouTube story and learn how even a simple earache can be a disaster waiting to happen. Take Joie’s advice and #GetCovered today.





Northwest Health Law Advocates (NoHLA) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to achieve a seamless health care system, in which all individuals receive affordable, quality care, and are assured of basic rights and protections.

Our work focuses on issues of concern to low-income individuals and families, particularly in Washington State. Please see NoHLA Advocacy for information about NoHLA's recent work.

NoHLA's work involves:

  • Legal consultation to attorneys and advocates on public health insurance programs
  • Legal and policy analysis
  • Training and community education
  • Legislative and administrative advocacy


Cathy Aby"Within weeks of NoHLA's Medicaid training, I was able to use the information you taught us to identify numerous cases in which families were wrongly denied coverage—and to bring those cases forward to get them resolved.

By giving all of us tools and knowledge to successfully advocate for people, NoHLA has impacted so many lives – making healthcare accessible and helping families avoid financial disaster."

~ Cathy Aby, Health Educator,Public Health – Seattle & King County

"I want to tell you how much I enjoy your presentations at First Friday Forum. I get happy when I see NOHLA on the agenda, and kinda sad without it!"

~ Esther Mathison