What financial assistance for medical bills is available to you?
Depending on your condition and income, a variety of financial assistance for medical bills may be available to you. Financial assistance for medical bills can come in the form of government programs, provider and supplier programs, and charitable organizations.
- State Medicaid: You may still qualify for “Retroactive Medicaid” even after receiving your bills
- “Medically Needy” Programs: In some states, medical expenses can be deducted from income in order to qualify for Medicaid
- State Children’s Health Insurance Program: Bills for your children may qualify for CHIP.
Provider and Supplier Programs
- Hospital Financial Aid: Many hospitals offer financial aid to patients based on income thresholds. Call to see if you qualify.
- Hospital Payment Plans: The hospital may offer extended payment plans at zero or low interest. Request this option only after negotiating.
- Pharmaceutical Financial Aid: If your bills relate to expensive prescription drugs, the pharmaceutical company may offer grants or other financial aid.
- Countless charities, such as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, exist to assist patients with specific conditions or diseases. Google “medical bill charity for [your treatment and condition]”.
- GoFundMe provides a platform for friends, family and the broader community to raise money.
When is seeking financial assistance appropriate for you?
The appropriate time and scenario to seek financial assistance for medical bills depends on the program. For government programs and established charities, start as early as possible. For hospital aid programs and payment plans, first take all possible steps to reduce your bill. Ideally you will be seeking financial assistance or a payment plan from a lower starting point.
Tips for obtaining financial assistance for your hospital bills
- Gather information early. It never hurts to call and collect information. Understand deadlines and eligibility criteria as early as possible in the process.
- Take action to reduce your bills. Financial assistance for medical bills is not guaranteed and may still leave you with medical bills you cannot afford. Lower your medical bills independent of any charity or financial assistance.