Guide to Hiring an Advocate

Why Hire

an Advocate?

The healthcare system can be confusing, stressful, and even maddening. If you are struggling to get what you need from your health insurance or a healthcare provider, an advocate can probably help.

If you answer YES to any of these questions, hiring an advocate might be right for you:

  • Do you need help reducing or negotiating your medical bills?
  • Has your health insurance plan denied a claim for treatment you need?
  • Do you or a loved one need help to choose the right health plan?
  • Were you recently diagnosed with a serious condition and need a second opinion?
  • Do you want to explore additional treatment options so you can make the best choices for yourself?
  • Are you concerned about the safety of an upcoming hospital stay?
  • Do you or a loved one need mental health treatment?
  • Do you have older loved ones in your life who need your help?
  • Are you alone and need help navigating any part of the healthcare system?
  • Do you not know where to start when it comes to your healthcare or health insurance?

Professional advocates can help you navigate any non-medical aspect of your healthcare journey, from insurance to bills to diagnosis and treatment. Advocates will help you navigate the healthcare system, review your situation, work to resolve issues and errors, and fight for your rights to make sure you get the care and coverage you need and deserve.

How to Choose

an Advocate

Your advocate should be someone you connect with and trust. They should have the right expertise to help with your situation, but they should also have a style, rate, and approach that works for you.

Here are the steps we recommend you take to find and choose the right advocate:


Interview Guide

Use any or all of these questions to help you decide if an advocate is right for you:

What are your credentials and experience?

  • What is your background, training, and experience providing these services?
  • Are you a Board-certified patient advocate (BCPA)?
  • Have you completed any patient advocacy certifications?
  • Do you have other relevant credentials or experiences that prepare you to provide these services?
  • What’s your experience handling cases similar to mine?
  • If you’ve handled cases similar to mine, how did they turn out (or how do they typically turn out)?
  • How long have you been an independent advocate?
  • What work did you do before going into advocacy practice?
  • Do you adhere to the patient advocacy Code of Professional Standards?

How do you work with clients? Or, how would we work together?

  • Do you have a set process for how we’d work together? If so, please describe how this works.
  • What do you need from me?
  • How will you communicate your progress to me?
  • What happens if you bump into obstacles resolving my issue/s?
  • Will we set meeting times to stay in touch?
  • Are you available at specific times and days or can I call you any time?


  • How will you update me on the case?
  • What can I do to help you navigate my loved one’s situation?
  • Do you need any additional signatures or permissions to be able to communicate with me about my loved one’s situation?

What do you charge?

  • Would you charge me by the hour or for the services?
  • What is your hourly rate?
  • How many hours do you think this will take to resolve?
  • What happens if you can’t resolve my issue/s? Will I get a refund? (Expect the answer to be no; advocates can’t guarantee results but they will work hard on your behalf.)
  • Does anyone else help you pay my fees?
  • How do you bill me? When do you expect or require payment?
  • What forms of payment do you accept?

What other terms do you have?

  • Do you require me to sign a contract or other agreements?
  • What is included in those? May I see them?
  • Can you explain your terms to me?

Do you have time to help me?

  • How many clients do you work with at a time?
  • How many clients do you have right now?
  • When can you start working on my case?
  • How long do you think it will take?

Do you have client reviews I can read or client references I could speak with?