Most hospitals offer discounts or medical bill financial assistance based on income. On average, a family of 4 earning less than $100,000 a year will qualify. We can help you apply for medical bill financial assistance — for free.
Who qualifies for medical bill financial assistance?
Each hospital runs its own medical debt financial aid program. That means each gets to decide how patients must apply and who qualifies.
Most hospitals look at your income, your household size, and the age of the bill to decide if you might qualify.
These examples show who might qualify for a discount. Every hospital policy is different. Your hospital may be more or less generous. See if you qualify.
Household of 1 making $46,000
Household of 2 making $63,000
Household of 3 making $80,000
Household of 4 making $97,000
* On average in 2024, households under 212% of the Federal Poverty Level will qualify for free care, and families under 311% will qualify for discounted care. These averages are derived from Dollar For’s national database of hospital financial assistance policies.
Some hospitals also look at the patient’s insurance status, county or state residency, and the size of the bill.
How can I get free help applying for charity care?
Dollar For is a national nonprofit that crushes medical bills. We help you apply for medical bill financial assistance from your hospital. We don’t pay your bills — we get the hospital to forgive them. Our services are completely free — no strings attached.
Who pays for medical bill financial assistance?
Charity care is not a pot of money that hospitals give out. It can’t be “used up” and it’s not provided by charities. Instead, financial assistance is a hospital’s way of showing that they provide a benefit to their community. If you apply, you aren’t taking away money that could be used for anyone else.
If you are approved for financial assistance, the hospital writes off your bill like it never existed. They report the total amount of debt that they forgive each year to the IRS and might even get paid by the government for waiving your bill.
How can I apply for medical bill financial assistance at my hospital?
Dollar For can help for free. Use our quick assessment tool to see if you might qualify for financial assistance at your hospital. Next, fill out our patient questionnaire to give us all the info we need to help you. Either way — it’s free.
What are the laws around medical bill financial assistance?
Internal Revenue Service code 501(r) requires nonprofit hospitals to:
- Have a policy that tells who qualifies and how to apply
- Post the policy information on their website, signs in the hospital, and bills
- Give patients at least 240 days (about 8 months) to apply after they get a bill
- Give patients a chance to fix incomplete applications
- Pause sending a bill to collections while they are reviewing the financial assistance application
- Send the patient a letter with the final decision and reason
Some states have laws that require all hospitals to offer medical bill financial assistance. These laws can change the rules for nonprofit and for-profit hospitals. Check out our state charity care law summaries for more.
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