Frequently Asked Questions about APHA Memberships, Benefits, Cost and More
You may find answers to your questions here. If not, we invite you to contact us.
Application and Membership
- A. Is every applicant who applies for APHA membership accepted?
The short answer is YES.
But there may be differences in qualifications for various levels of members, as follows:
Business, Premium ADL and Directory Only (DO) Applications:
Since these members are listed in the AdvoConnection Directory for patients to find them and hire them, membership is not automatic. We review all applications to be sure the individual or organization meets our criteria for listing. We don’t want patients to question the listings they find in the directory. Quality is more important than quantity.
Only advocates who are in the business of working with patients and caregivers are accepted for these memberships. While we recognize the value of volunteerism (and certainly appreciate the efforts of those who volunteer their services to help others), APHA memberships are intended specifically to support those who have committed their careers to health-related assistance and advocacy.
- B. What resources will I have access to once I am a member?
Take a look to see for yourself. We have built virtual tours so you can see what’s available to our members.
If you are still trying to decide which membership to apply for, here’s a side-by-side comparison of the benefits and tools accessible to each.
- C. How can I choose the right membership level?
Directory Listing FAQs
- D. What is the AdvoConnection Directory?
The AdvoConnection Directory, found here, is a directory used by patients and caregivers who need help with some aspect of the healthcare system. They can do a search using the zip code of the patient, and the services needed to find that help. Think of the AdvoConnection directory as the online “yellow pages” of health and patient advocates.
- E. How Can I Add My Listing to the AdvoConnection Directory?
A directory listing starts with a Premium, Business or Directory-Only (DO) membership in the The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates. It also requires that you meet the requirements for being listed. The goal is to maximize the chances that a patient or caregiver searching the directory will find an effective advocate for their situation.
- F. What do the advocate listings look like in the patient directory?
- G. To what extent will I control my own listing?
You will have control over all aspects of your listing except for testimonials.
- H. How do testimonials get added to my listing?
Testimonials may be included on Premium +ADL Members’ directory profiles. To be sure that testimonials are genuine, they will be reviewed and uploaded by APHA personnel and not by advocates themselves.
There is a form on the AdvoConnection Directory website that allows clients to comment on the work you did for them. Upon receipt and validation of comments, we will send the comment to you for review, and you will be asked for your permission to include it on your directory profile.
- I. How can I end up at the top of the results list when a patient searches for an advocate?
When you apply and are accepted as a member, the form fields you filled out become part of our directory database. That information is then displayed for the appropriate searches in the AdvoConnection Directory.
When a patient (or caregiver) does a search at AdvoConnection, they get their results in a specific order, pre-determined by a formula we have built in, and pulled from that database. Here’s how that formula determines the order of results:
It begins by identifying all advocates who offer the services the patient needs in the location they have specified. Then it orders them using the following:
- Premium +ADL (or Business) members located in the same zip code
- Directory Only (or Business) members located in the same zip code
- Premium +ADL members with the next closest zip codes – out 200 miles from the patient’s location
- Directory Only members with the next closest zip codes – out 200 miles from the patient’s location
- Premium +ADL members who have designated “anywhere in the US” on their forms
- Directory Only members who have designated “anywhere in the US” on their forms
If two advocates with the same membership designate offices in the same zip code, then they appear at the top of the list alternately.
So, to end up at the top of the list, you must provide the services they seek in the zip code closest to them.
Dues, Fees, Upgrades & Renewals
- J. How much are the membership dues for each type of membership?
Pricing for each level of membership is found on the Membership Comparison Chart.
- K. Are there any discounts for membership?
Yes, Premium and Premium +ADL applicants will find their year one membership dues reduced if they belong to another affiliated organization. Also, the renewal cost for year 2 and beyond is less than the initial membership for all membership levels.
- L. When are the membership dues due?
Dues for new members are due as soon as the application is received. Upon submission, the applicant is taken to a page that outlines payment choices (credit card, check, pay-by-phone.)
Then, annually, members receive a series of renewal notices beginning 30 days prior to their renewal dates.
In all cases, once membership dues have been paid, members are able to access the many benefits available to them immediately.
- M. If I apply for one type of membership, can I upgrade it (or downgrade it) later?
Yes. Once you are already a member, you may do either, as follows:
It’s quite simple to upgrade your membership. Log into your Membership Dashboard and find a link on the right to UPGRADE YOUR MEMBERSHIP. Your dues will be adjusted according to how much time has passed since you paid for your previous membership.
Premium +ADL members may downgrade to Directory Only. No Premium, Premium +ADL, or DO members may downgrade to PACE (If you were not yet working as an advocate, you would not have been accepted as a Premium or DO member to begin with.)
To downgrade your membership from Premium +ADL to Directory Only, send an email to us at info(at)APHAdvocates.org and request a downgrade. Dues adjustments will take place according to the refund schedule below (see the question about cancelling memberships and receiving refunds). Your refund balance will be determined, then will be applied toward a full DO membership.
- N. If I decide to upgrade my membership before my annual renewal, will you make a dues adjustment?
Membership upgrades include DO to Premium, or PACE (Patient Advocate Career Explorers) to Premium. The easiest way to make an upgrade happen is to log into your membership homepage, then find the link on the right to Upgrade your Membership.
Yes, we will make an adjustment to your new dues. In completing the upgrade, we will apply a portion of your already-paid dues to your new cost for membership. The amount will be simple math – For example, if six months have passed since your lower-level membership dues were paid, then half the amount you paid will be applied to your upgraded membership – which will then run for its full year.
- O. If I decide to cancel my membership, will I get any portion of my membership dues refunded?
In some cases, yes. Find in this chart the amount that will be refunded.
- P. How do membership renewals work?
Your renewal date will come up annually on your original date of membership. You can find your renewal date from your membership dashboard, by linking to Manage Your Account > scroll down to your Personal Account Information and choose Subscriptions.
About one month prior to your renewal date, you’ll receive a first notice telling you it’s time to renew. You’ll receive additional reminders throughout the 30 days leading to your expiration date.
There are no automatic renewals. You must intentionally renew using the link provided in your renewal email.
- Q. Beyond membership dues, do you charge additional fees for some services?
There are no additional fees for any of the benefits listed on this master list.
We do offer some promotional programs that are linkable from members’ dashboards that may incur additional fees, such as the AdvoConnection Spotlight.
The only additional fee that could be charged would be for those who write us a check against insufficient funds. A returned check will trigger a $35 service fee.
- R. Will there be advertising on the AdvoConnection website?
Yes, eventually advertising will be accepted on the AdvoConnection and APHA sites, plus other associated sites.
- S. I see a News and Resources page on the AdvoConnection Directory website. May I submit information to be included on this page?
Premium and Premium +ADL members may submit news and resources. Find the News and Resources request form linked from your Member Dashboard.
- T. What if there is a service I would like to have that I don't see on the membership benefits list?
If you have ideas for additional services you would like to see or take advantage of, please contact us and we’ll review them to see if they make sense for inclusion with The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates membership packages. Our best ideas come from our members! So we look forward to hearing from you.