Health Care Advocacy (ICAN)

Independent Consumer Advocacy Network (ICAN)

MHP recently joined a network of community organizations called ICAN (Independent Consumer Advocacy Network). ICAN is an “Ombudsprogram,” created to educate and advocate for consumers enrolled in Medicaid Managed Care and receiving long term care services, such as home attendants. Now ICAN is also the Ombudsprogram for people with serious mental health conditions or substance use disorders (problems with drug and alcohol use) who are eligible for the new Medicaid HARP plans (“Health and Recovery Plans”). MHP provides ICAN consumer assistance services to people in New York City who are eligible for or enrolled in HARP plans.

What is a HARP?
HARP is an acronym for “Health and Recovery Plans,” a new type of Medicaid available only to people with serious mental illness and/or substance use disorders (alcohol or drug use). HARPs offer extra free services, such as care management, pre-vocational services, educational supports, and non-medical transportation to those who qualify. HARP services are free and won’t affect your other benefits, such as SNAP or SSI.

What can we do for you?
We can answer your questions about HARPs, the new Medicaid Managed Care plans designed for people with high behavioral health care needs.
Many people are already enrolled in HARP, but aren’t aware of it. We can help you figure out whether you are already enrolled in a HARP.
We can help you decide whether a HARP is right for you.
We can help you access behavioral health care services and benefits in Mainstream Medicaid plans.
We can help you solve problems with your managed care plan or providers like doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies. For example, we can help you get a needed service, or complain or appeal.
We can conduct educational presentations for consumers, providers, and professionals on HARPs, including a brief overview of Medicaid Managed Care and some of the behavioral health services available with a HARP.

How can we offer this for free?
The ICAN program is funded by the State’s Department of Health to enable us to assist you with HARP issues.

How can I get help?
If you have a serious mental health condition or substance use disorder and have questions about your HARP or other Medicaid plan, call us at (646) 923-8397. All ICAN services are free, confidential, and are not connected with any health insurance plan.

If you would like to schedule a presentation about Health and Recovery Plans for your clients or colleagues, please contact Suzanne Gruer, ICAN Advocate, at (646) 923-8347 or sgruer@urbanjustice.org.