By David O’Connor
“I’m just very grateful, because I was in a very hard place.”

They were willing to help meA college-age Texas resident, Hailey has faced a painful, often debilitating, back condition that made work or studying almost unbearable.

Then, when Covid hit, the pandemic and other circumstances in her life forced her to leave school and even become homeless for a time.

On top of all that, she found out she had a nearly $2,000 hospital bill – a bill she didn’t know about for a year – with no means to pay it.

But Hailey, now 22, sought Dollar For’s help after seeing information about the nonprofit on her phone. And thanks to Dollar For, her bill of $1,856 from Memorial Hermann Hospital, near Houston, was erased.

Hailey has spina bifida, and wasn’t getting the hospital’s bills due to being homeless and not having a fixed address.

Billed by the hospital in 2021, she applied for charity care in September 2022, but was denied for being too late. She appealed the denial, and was then approved for charity care in December.

More than half of U.S. hospitals are nonprofits, and under IRS regulations, nonprofit hospitals must have charity care programs to maintain their tax-exempt status. Charity care programs decrease medical bills for low and middle-income patients. But hospitals don’t always educate patients about these programs.

Hailey says Dollar For didn’t just help her appeal her initial denial – it also helped her have a bill forgiven at a private hospital not required to offer charity care. Now, with the hospital bills taken care of, she couldn’t be more thankful for Dollar For’s help.

“Even before I was fully, completely homeless, it was very difficult to even keep my job because of my condition,” she says. “It was just a very difficult time, hard to handle.”

At first, Hailey  thought Dollar For looked too good to be true, but she still contacted the nonprofit for help, and was quickly impressed.

“I’ve never dealt with anyone who has gotten back to me as quickly” as Dollar For, she says. “And anything they asked me to do, they were willing to help me with.”

“I’m just very grateful, because I was in a very hard place. It was the easiest process I’ve ever had to deal with when it came to bills or even just hospitals in general … not judgmental or rushing me in any way.”

With the hospital bills now off her plate, she hopes to keep getting back on her feet financially, and even plans to return to college to complete her studies in accounting.

Read more stories about Texans who got their medical bills crushed: Mercy, Alexandria, Savana.

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