How to Qualify for Charity Care
Charity care is a state-mandated and state-funded program that reimburses hospitals for health coverage provided to eligible candidates who cannot afford to pay for such coverage. According to virtua.org, “the law states that charity care may be provided for any medically necessary services as determined by a physician.” Because charity care is not free medical care, individuals must apply for it. Understanding the protocol is important.
Visit the business or admissions office at your local hospital. Take along proof of income such as recent pay stubs (usually four) from your employer, unemployment insurance benefit statements, or documentation from sources of income. Also, have recent bank statements and proof of any other assets, such as stocks and bonds.
Have identification handy, for example, a driver’s license, state-issued identification card or employee ID. Provide proof of residency with a copy of your lease or title, utility bills (gas and electric) or current voter registration card. Have as many of these items in hand as possible.
Fill out the application completely, answering each question honestly and appropriately. For instance, write down the complete names of your children if asked to give this information. Double check your application and turn it in to the representative.
Get a receipt or proof that you applied for charity care. Ask how long it will take to review your application, as well as how and when you will receive notification. Contact the collection agency for your medical bill (if you have one) and explain that you have applied for charity care. Be prepared to provide proof if necessary.