More than half of all U.S. hospitals have medical bill forgiveness programs, but many patients don’t know about them. These medical debt relief programs, also called charity care, forgive or decrease hospital bills for people who can’t afford to pay their hospital bills.
That hospital bill for $15,000. It could become $150, or even $0.
IRS code 501(r) requires hospitals to:
Have a medical bill forgiveness policy that explains who qualifies and how to apply;
Post the hospital bill relief policy on their website, flyers, billing statements, and signs in the hospital;
Give patients at least 240 days to apply after they receive a bill, and a reasonable chance to fix incomplete applications;
Pause sending a bill to collections while they are reviewing the financial assistance application; and
Send the patient a letter with the final medical bill forgiveness decision and reason.
Each hospital runs its own medical bill forgiveness program. They get to decide how patients must apply and who qualifies. Hospitals typically consider the patient’s income, the number of people in the household, and the bill’s age when deciding who qualifies. Some hospitals also look at the patient’s insurance status, county or state residency, and the size of the bill.
Dollar For helps patients check if they are eligible for charity care, prepare and submit applications, and get those medical bills forgiven. Our services are completely free – no strings attached.
Dollar For believes a medical crisis shouldn’t become a financial crisis. If you go to the hospital for medical care, you have done nothing wrong, so there is nothing to “forgive.”
That’s why we talk about medical bill forgiveness with words like “charity care” or “financial assistance.” Your bill can be relieved, waived, written off, eliminated, or reduced by the hospital. But it doesn’t need to be forgiven.
Dollar For can help for free. Use our quick assessment tool to see if you are likely to qualify for debt forgiveness at your hospital. You’ll then have a choice to either apply on your own with tips from Dollar For, or have us apply on your behalf. Either way-it’s free.