Many hospitals will not tell you about this health care option and instead will admonish you to raise the money by hook, nook or crook which, depending on your illness could mean death. Let’s face it, if you have cancer you might not have 6 months to try to raise money for health care.
Charity Care is federally funded but states also have their version of it. One such program was the federally funded Hill-Burton program initiated between 1946 and 1974. Any state that participated in the program received monies from the federal government to improve their facilities in return they had to provide health care to those who could not afford it. There are hospitals that have not met the obligations of the Hill-Burton program and therefore must provide free health care to those who qualify. To see if you qualify or to get answers to your questions regarding this program you can call the toll free number below:
1-800-638-0742, the hot-line is available 24 hours a day.
Each state is different but the magic number that your income has to fall below is usually $7,500. That number does not include your house or your car. Your other assets cannot exceed $7,500 dollars, which coincidentally is also the number you have to stay below if you would like to avoid paying any income taxes.
Also you can go to a United Way hospital where they will use a sliding scale to forgive a certain percentage of the bill based on your income and if you have health insurance and a rejection letter from Medicare. If you are accepted by Medicare, they will forgive whatever is not covered by Medicare. The other method is just walking in to the billing dept. of the hospital and asking what you can do about reducing your bill. A fan told me about these so if you have information regarding other options please post them so as to help others. In addition, don’t forget to scout out any free clinics in your area. There are some of these still around and you might be able to find the remedy you need at one.
In many cases the hospitals will not volunteer this information. And, there has been a decrease in doctors and hospitals providing this care so it is important that you ask about it and find a doctor or hospital that cooperates in the program. Unfortunately, this whole system is in jeopardy due to the recent passage of the Obama Health Care program, under that program if you don’t buy healthcare insurance I guess you can get it in prison!
If you happen to find yourself in a situation in which you have no insurance and need medical care I hope that you will not hesitate to look into charity care..after-all you pay for it through your state and federal taxes so in that respect it isn’t charity care at all!
Good luck and God Bless.