The U.S. is a great place if you want top-tier healthcare, but the costs are getting way out of hand, and that is no secret. It’s sad to know that there are potentially tens of thousands of patients saddled with medical debt that struggle to pay it off but don’t know that they don’t even have to. And simply for lack of knowledge.
You need to know the following info. It can save your life. If you make under a certain amount, certain hospitals are required by law to forgive your debt. And it pays to do your due diligence beforehand in case you ever find yourself in such a situation. You may think it’ll never happen to you, but you can never be too prepared.
Non-profit hospitals have a Charity Care policy
Charity Care Policy is a policy that must be enacted in hospitals that are considered non-profit. If you didn’t know, the majority of hospitals in the U.S. are actually considered to be non-profit. That’s great news!
Out of about 5,000 non-federal hospitals, about 3,000 are considered non-profit.
How to find a hospital with a Charity Care policy
You can find whether your local hospital qualifies by googling “financial assistance for [insert hospital name here]”
Once you do so, go to the website and search for a link regarding Financial Assistance Policy or similar and skim the document to locate their Charity Care Policy. Usually, the paragraph(s) will outline eligibility to get your medical bills completely forgiven based on your income in relation to the Federal Poverty Level. As of 2021, this would be a family income of $12,880 or less for the year.
Take St. John’s Regional Medical Center in California for example:
“Up to 200% of the FPL – Any patient whose Family Income is at or below 200% of the FPL, including, without limitation, any Uninsured or Underinsured patient, is eligible to receive Financial Assistance up to a 100% discount from his or her account balance for eligible services provided to the patient after payment, if any, by any third-party(ies).”
Who qualifies for Charity Care?
For St. John’s Regional Medical Center in California, if you make $25,760 or less, you qualify for a complete 100% discount on your hospital bill. Even if you make more than that amount, you may qualify for partial discounts, so be sure to check anyways.
Make sure you read the policy to find out what the requirements are for specific hospitals near your area.
If you qualify for Charity Care, use those hospitals
When you find the one(s) that you qualify for, be sure to take note of those hospitals for any future care. Memorize them like the back of your hand. We say that because when you’re finding yourself in a situation that needs medical care, it may be hard to think clearly. By memorizing these hospitals thoroughly, you’re giving yourself the best chance to recall them in moments of stress. If within your control, be sure to head to those hospitals for any necessary care.
- There are plenty of non-profit hospitals in the US
- Non-profit hospitals have Charity Care policies
- These Charity Care policies outline qualifications for medical debt forgiveness up to 100%
- You need to Google for hospitals near you that have Charity Care policies
- Read over their policies to figure out if you qualify for medical debt forgiveness
- If you do qualify, be sure to head towards those hospitals for any future care whenever in your control
Please share this with anyone and everyone you know, especially anyone who is saddled with medical bills they can’t pay. You just might save someone’s life.