Jill Hanken

Jill Hanken

T (804) 782-9430 ext. 13   |   F (804) 649-0974   |   E jill@vplc.org

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Overview of Health Law

VPLC’s work on Health Care Law focuses on the major health programs for low-income Virginians.  Access to health care is critically important to low-income Virginians.  Many rely on public health insurance programs such as Medicaid, Medicare and FAMIS, which involve complex laws and policies.  VPLC often works with coalitions pursuing the same goals. These coalitions include Healthcare for All Virginians, Virginia Coalition for Children’s Health, Virginians for Improved Access to Dental Care and Advocates for the Disabled.


Much of VPLC’s work on health law is public policy advocacy with Congress, the Virginia General Assembly, and administrative agencies. For example, VPLC has worked on successful legislative initiatives to protect and expand Medicaid and SCHIP coverage for children, pregnant women, and the elderly/disabled. It has opposed cuts in medical services and promoted provider reimbursement increases when needed to ensure access to care.

On the national level, VPLC’s health law attorney has been actively engaged in supporting health reform legislation by providing information to the public, other organizations and Virginia’s Congressional delegation.  The recent passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) offers enormous opportunity in Virginia and VPLC will work on implementation of the new law through education and advocacy.


Since eligibility for government health programs can be complex and confusing and program rules change often, the expertise of VPLC’s health law attorney is called upon frequently.  She provides ongoing technical assistance and training about health law issues to legal services staff, private attorneys, outreach workers and other service providers.

Upcoming trainings


Because it is a statewide support organization for local legal aid programs throughout Virginia, VPLC does not generally handle individual cases. However, co-counseling or direct representation may be available in limited cases involving significant statewide health issues. For assistance, first call your local legal aid office or call 1-866-534-5243 to reach your local legal aid office.

Health Law Resources

Affordable Care Act Resources