About Legal, Insurance, & Paperwork Assistance (LIPA)

Over 54,000 New Mexicans are currently living with cancer and over 8,000 more are diagnosed each year. NM’s cancer survivors and their loved ones need better resources for dealing with the many legal and insurance issues associated with the survival process. They also need better tools for managing the huge volume of medical and insurance paperwork associated with a cancer diagnosis.

Cancer Services of New Mexico’s free Legal, Insurance, & Paperwork Assistance (LIPA) Program is the only program in New Mexico providing comprehensive assistance with cancer-related legal, insurance, and paperwork issues, and is one of few programs in the U.S. focused on these issues. Services are available at no charge to any New Mexican coping with cancer who needs assistance.

In addition to this website, the LIPA program has three major elements:

  • LIPA Clinics - At these free clinics, teams of volunteers with expertise in legal, insurance, and paperwork issues provide individualized advice to clients in private sessions. Clinics are held twice each month, and are conducted in-person or via a toll-free conference call. During clinic sessions, volunteers answer client questions and make suggestions for follow up steps, including referrals to other agencies that might be of help. After each session, the Program Manager follows up with the client to get feedback on the process and its outcomes, and to see if there is a need for additional assistance.

  • LIPA Referral Program – The LIPA Program Manager conducts a telephone intake of all prospective clients, to understand their issues and determine if they would benefit from participation in a LIPA clinic. In some situations, she determines a client would be best served through referral to other groups that can provide direct support/assistance with their issues. We collaborate with a large number of organizations throughout the state in these situations. As with our clinics, the Program Manager follows up with each client to get feedback on the outcome of the referral, and to see if there is a need for additional assistance.

  • Cancer Treatment Organizers (CTOs) - The CTO is a free recordkeeping tool that offers patients and their loved ones a simple system for keeping all their cancer-related records organized and easily accessible. It was designed by a New Mexican cancer survivor who runs a personal organizing business, based on the system she developed to keep track of her own cancer-related paperwork during her treatment process. This lightweight, 13-pocket, portfolio has labeled sections patients can use to file information on medical appointments, test results, medications, receipts, etc. Each CTO also includes information on local and national support resources.

The LIPA program is provided at no cost to NM’s cancer patients/survivors and their family members/loved ones. For more information or assistance, please contact us.


Last updated: 01 December 2017
First published: 17 November 2010

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