Applying for charity care on your own can feel challenging, but it’s actually pretty easy if you know what to do. This do-it-yourself manual gives you all the tips and tools to apply for hospital financial assistance.
1. Check if you are eligible
Look up your hospital’s financial assistance policy online. You’ll have to compare your income to the hospital’s guidelines.
2. Fill out your hospital’s application
Download the application from the hospital website. Print it out or fill it out on your computer with a PDF editor.
3. Submit your application to the hospital
Fax, email, mail or personally deliver your completed application. Be sure to include copies of all the documents requested by the hospital.
4. Follow up with the hospital
Call your hospital after three weeks to make sure they have received your application. If they ask for more documents, make sure to send them within a few days. Keep calling every week or two until you get an answer.
5A. Celebrate when your bill is waived
If the hospital waives your bill, make sure to get a copy of the approval letter. Use this to ask other doctors who treated you at the hospital to waive their bills.
5B. Or, if needed, appeal your hospital’s decision
If the hospital denies your application, find out why. You may be able to reapply or appeal the decision.
6. Explore other ways to lower your bill
In some cases, you may get billed for care at a hospital that you should not have to pay. Here are some situations where that happens and what to do.