After collapsing on the ground, Zakieh Lloyd was terrified, worried she might be having a seizure.
The South Florida resident was at an outdoor event with her husband earlier this year. At the emergency room after her fall, the hospital ran a battery of tests. Fortunately it turned out she had simply gotten dehydrated from not drinking enough water, and was otherwise fine.
That good news was brief, however.
A few weeks later, Zakieh got a bill for nearly $3,000 from Memorial Regional Hospital of Hollywood, Fla. She had no idea how she could pay it, because right now she’s unemployed.
“I didn’t know they were going to charge me that much,” Zakieh says of the hospital. “Now I’m afraid to go to the hospital – they might charge me another bill for $2,000.”
After learning about Dollar For online, Zakieh quickly checked that she would qualify for financial assistance. Then she sent in her information. Within a month her $2,813 hospital bill was erased, just like the almost $27 million in medical debt Dollar For has eliminated so far.
Nonprofit hospitals are required to offer charity care programs to maintain their tax-exempt status. Dollar For helps individuals like Zakieh check if they are eligible for financial assistance at their hospital. Then they prepare and submit applications to reduce or eliminate medical bills. Dollar For’s services are free.
She really appreciates Dollar For’s help, Zakieh continues, because “right now, I don’t work. I’m trying to find something. I’m trying to pay my bills off.”
Zakieh says she went to school for computer information systems, has experience in the accounting field and has office clerical experience.
Whatever job she finds, she won’t have the hospital ER bill hanging over her head. And the hospital has told her she won’t be charged for any visits needed in the next year. She doesn’t have to be afraid to get medical care if she needs it.
Zakieh gets her health insurance from Healthcare.gov, the national marketplace. She says the hospital did bill her insurance first, but it didn’t cover much of the ER visit cost. Nor did the hospital tell her about the possibility of charity care.
But Dollar For, which got her bill eliminated within weeks, “is a great company. I’m very thankful for your company,” says Zakieh.