Hospitals That Forgive Your Medical Bill [There Are More Than You Think]

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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 and your life savings. If you make under a certain amount per year, 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. Chances are that your current hospital could have a forgiveness policy that you never knew about.

How to find a hospital with a Charity Care policy

You can find out 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 2022, the poverty level guideline is as follows.

​Persons in Family Household​Poverty Guideline

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, you would need to make less than double the Federal Poverty Level as stated in the table above. 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. Income requirements may vary depending on the location the hospital is in, though federal poverty stays the same, the percentage above FPL could change.

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.

How did the hospital charity care policy come about?

The hospital charity care policy is a result of a long history of efforts to provide healthcare to those who cannot afford it. In the United States, the charity care policy can be traced back to the early 1900s when charitable organizations and hospitals began to provide free or low-cost healthcare services to the poor.

In 1965, the federal government established the Medicare and Medicaid programs, which provided healthcare coverage to seniors, low-income individuals, and people with disabilities. These programs helped to reduce the burden on hospitals to provide free care to the uninsured.

Despite these efforts, there were still many people who were unable to afford healthcare, and hospitals continued to provide charity care. In the 1980s, hospitals began to experience financial pressures due to rising healthcare costs and an increase in the number of uninsured patients.

In response to these challenges, some hospitals began to develop charity care policies to formalize their approach to providing free or reduced-cost care to low-income patients. These policies typically set income thresholds to determine eligibility for charity care and established procedures for patients to apply for assistance.

Today, hospital charity care policies are often required by state or local laws, and many hospitals have formal programs in place to provide financial assistance to patients who are unable to pay for their healthcare services. These programs are funded through a combination of sources, including donations, government subsidies, and reimbursement from private insurance companies.

In conclusion

To summarize:

  • 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.

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