At Amazing Healthcare Consultants, we understand how painful and unnerving medical bills can be. With deductibles, copays and coinsurance, healthcare costs are higher than ever. Few can afford to pay medical bills without financial assistance. The good news is that there are dozens of financial assistance programs available.
Unfortunately, it requires a lot of time researching and applying to medical assistance programs. If you are struggling to find the right financial assistance program for your medical bills then you have come to the right place.
This article will tell you everything you need to know regarding financial aid for medical bills. You will learn about the different programs that offer assistance for various conditions and illnesses. In addition, you will learn who to contact when you need professional help paying your medical bills.
- What is Medical Billing Assistance?
- Medical Bill Assistance Under Charity Care Program
- Medical Bill Assistance for Insured Low-Income
- Medical Bill Assistance for Middle-Class Families
- Medical Bill Assistance for Foreigners in the USA
- Medical Bill Assistance for Veterans
- Medical Bill Assistance for Children with Chronic Illness
- Medical Bill Assistance for Open Heart Surgery
- Medical Bill Assistance for Spine Trauma Patients
- Medical Bill Assistance for Covid Hospital Expenses
- Other Medical Assistance You Can Seek for Your Medical Debts
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Can Anyone Ask for Help to Pay Medical Bills?
What is Medical Billing Assistance?
Medical billing assistance comes in several forms depending on its origin. Medical billing assistance is any form of financial aid obtained when paying hospital and medical bills. Medical billing assistance also includes free or discounted health care from hospitals that provide care to low income patients.
Medical billing assistance is meant to help low income, uninsured, and underinsured people with their medical bills. It can also help with the medical bills for people suffering from chronic conditions that require ongoing treatment and care.
Medical Bill Assistance Under Charity Care Program
Charity care programs are often offered by hospitals in the United States. Charity care programs provide free or discounted care to patients needing financial assistance. Due to the Affordable Care Act, all non-profit hospitals must have charity care programs and offer free or discounted medical services to low income patients.
In addition to non profit hospitals, many for profit hospitals provide medical assistance programs to patients. In some states, they are even required to do so. Even if not required by law, the IRS and federal government offer incentives to hospitals that provide charity care. Most hospitals offer some charity care to patients who meet one of the following criteria.
- Low Income and No Insurance
If you have a low income and no insurance, you will almost certainly qualify for charity care from your hospital. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 allows for almost all low income people under the age of 65 to receive financial assistance so long as you are a US citizen.
- No Insurance
Anyone who does not have insurance but needs medical care will most likely qualify for charity care. Hospitals can not refuse to treat a patient without insurance so long as they have a life threatening condition. However, if your income is too high there is a high probability that you will not receive any financial assistance.
- Patients on a Fixed Income
Patients with a fixed income, such as the elderly, are also entitled to some form of financial assistance. Medicare and Medicaid is available to adults over the age of 65 and is dependent upon income.
Hospital Charity Care Qualifications
Hospitals that are required to provide charity care can establish their own program and eligibility criteria. You could qualify for charity care from Hospital A but not from Hospital B. It is helpful to know what hospitals offer the most charity care in your area. Usually hospitals associated with an academic university offer the most assistance.
Here is an example of how a hospital charity care policy might work According to WakeMed.org,
|250% of Poverty Guidelines||275% of Poverty Guidelines||300% of Poverty Guidelines|
|Family Size||100% Discount||90% Discount||80% Discount|
|1||Household income below $33,975.00||Household income below $37,372.50||Household income below $40,770.00|
|2||Household income below $45,775.00||Household income below $50,352.50||Household income below $54,930.00|
|3||Household income below $57,575.00||Household income below $63,332.50||Household income below $69,090.00|
|4||Household income below $69,375.00||Household income below $76,312.50||Household income below $83,250.00|
|5||Household income below $81,175.00||Household income below $89,292.50||Household income below $97,410.00|
|6||Household income below $92,975.00||Household income below $102,272.50||Household income below $111,570.00|
|7||Household income below $104,775.00||Household income below $115,252.50||Household income below $125,730.00|
|8||Household income below $116,575.00||Household income below $128,232.50||Household income below $139,890.00|
Once again, every state and hospital can create their own charity care program. Governmental medical assistance programs are based on your income, household size, and your proximity to the Federal Poverty Level.
Medical Bill Assistance for Insured Low-Income
If you have health insurance but are low income, there is a good chance you qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid is available to anyone regardless of their insurance status. Many charities help people based on their health condition and income status.
Medicare Savings Programs for Insured Low Income
If you are over the age of 65 and have a low income, Medicare and Medicaid is a great option. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) created the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program to provide assistance to low income or disabled adults. The QMB program consists of the Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary Program and the Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals Program.
Medical Bill Assistance for Middle-Class Families
Due to expanded Medicaid coverage, even middle class families can qualify for its benefits. Be sure to check with your specific state regarding income requirements for assistance. In addition, most states have private programs that offer financial assistance based on specific health conditions.
Medical Bill Assistance for Foreigners in the USA
Medicaid and its partner program CHIP are available to certain foreigners living in the United States. It is only available to immigrants who have been living in the country for at least five years, refugees, veterans, and other select individuals. Some states also provide additional programs and coverages related to foreigners in the US.
Medical Bill Assistance for Veterans
If you are a veteran, have a disability, or are at least 65 years old, you will likely be eligible for medical care through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans are also entitled to free care if they have a disability or an injury related to their service in the military. Many grants and programs are also available to veterans who need assistance with their medical bills.
Medical Bill Assistance for Children with Chronic Illness
Medical billing assistance is available to children with chronic illnesses through private programs and charities. This includes assistance with not only paying medical bills, but transportation and therapy costs. There are also numerous condition-specific charities available for children.
Medical Bill Assistance for Open Heart Surgery
Cardiac conditions including open heart surgery are costly and require ongoing care. As a result numerous programs are available to assist cardiac patients including the HealthWell Foundation.
Medical Bill Assistance for Spine Trauma Patients
Spine and back trauma often leads to permanent disabilities and life altering conditions. There are numerous charities and organizations that offer assistance as well as grants and financial aid programs specifically for spine trauma patients.
Medical Bill Assistance for Covid Hospital Expenses
Covid-19 has caused countless deaths and hospitalizations. As a result, Congress implemented a number of bills and programs aimed at assisting people with hospital bills related to Covid.
Other Medical Assistance You Can Seek for Your Medical Debts
In addition to charity care from your hospital and government programs, there are a number of other medical assistance programs that can help you with your medical debts. Many of these foundations are privately owned or nonprofit charities that offer assistance on a condition specific basis. Here are some of the most popular condition specific medical assistance programs:
- United Healthcare Children’s Foundation
- HealthWell Foundation
- Samaritan Health Services
- American Heart Association
- Catholic Relief Services
- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
- The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Anyone Ask for Help to Pay Medical Bills?
Yes! In the United States everyone can seek assistance paying their medical bills. Medical billing assistance programs are primarily dependent on your total household income, your income in relation to the Federal Poverty Level and the size of your household.
If you do not qualify for financial assistance but can’t afford your medical bills, you should contact Amazing Healthcare Consultants. We will help you understand your medical bills, explore your financial aid and repayment options, and create a plan that works. Contact us to set up an appointment and find out if you can benefit from hiring a healthcare advocate.