Free and reduced-cost health care is available to people who cannot afford to pay at Hill-Burton obligated facilities. These facilities must post a sign in their Admissions Office, Business Office, and Emergency Room advising people of their free and reduced-cost care obligation. The sign must read, “NOTICE Medical Care for Those Who Cannot Afford to Pay. ”
• Hill-Burton assisted facilities include hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities. You can apply at the facility’s Admissions Office or Business Office, before or after care is received and even after bills have been sent for collection.
• Hill-Burton facilities determine which services are provided free of charge or at reduced costs.
• The program only covers facility costs; it does not cover private physician bills.
• Hill-Burton facilities must provide a written Individual Notice that specifies the types of Hill-Burton free and reduced-cost services available and the income criteria. These services are reflected in the facility’s published allocation plan.
Do I Qualify for Free Services?
• To qualify for services, an applicant’s income must fall within the annually published Poverty Guidelines of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
• If your income is at or below the current Poverty Guidelines, facility services may be free. • If your income is more than the current Poverty Guidelines, but is less than double (or in the case of nursing homes less than triple), Hill-Burton facilities may provide services at full charge, reduced charge, or free. The Individual Notice will tell you what medical services and income levels qualify for free care.
How Do I Apply?
• Contact the Hill-Burton Hot Line for a list of obligated facilities.
• Contact the facility’s Admissions Office or Business Office. Ask for an application and a copy of the facility’s Individual Notice. This notice provides information on qualifying income levels, required documentation, where to apply, and the timeframe for the facility to make the eligibility determination.
• The types of documentation that may be required are proof of income to the facility, such as a pay stub and, if applying for Medicaid, Medicare, or some other medical assistance program, a letter of approval or denial.
• These documents must be submitted within a reasonable time after applying for Hill-Burton services.
• When you return the completed application, ask for a Determination of Eligibility. The facility must notify you in writing of its determination of your eligibility for free or reduced-cost services within the timeframes included on the Individual Notice.
Can I Be Denied?
The facility may deny your request if:
• Your income is more than the income levels in the Allocation Plan and as specified in the Individual Notice.
• The facility has given out the required amount of free care as specified in its Allocation Plan.
• The services you request or have received are not covered by the facility’s Allocation Plan as specified in the Individual Notice.
• The services you are requesting are fully covered by Medicare, Medicaid, insurance or another medical assistance program.
• You do not provide the documents the facility requires to verify your eligibility, such as a pay stub
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