With the ongoing economic recession, we have continued to see a high number of clients who have lost their health insurance (if not their job altogether). Of course, it seems that’s right about the time that many folks wind up needing to go to the hospital.
All hospitals in Ohio are part of a program that writes off hospital bills if the patient falls below a certain income criteria. This program applies to all hospital bills incurred in Ohio and it does not matter whether they’re related to any sort of legal case. The program is available to anyone in Ohio for any hospital bill as long your income falls below the applicable threshold, which depends on the year you are applying to the program.
Typically, a family with two or three children and an annual income of approximately $20,000 may qualify. The program will look at the family income prior to the service for three months preceding the service and for 12 months preceding the service. Whichever of those two numbers is more favorable to you, will be used in the application to determine if you qualify. Please note that the program only applies to hospital bills; it does not apply to doctor bills, prescriptions, physical therapy bills, etc.
The hospitals can often be quite eager to help you complete the application. This is because all Ohio hospitals contribute a certain amount of money to the fund every year and their goal is to apply to get a share of the money back. If they don’t complete the appropriate number of HCAP applications, their contribution goes to another hospital.
Furthermore, if you have health insurance and you are struggling with paying a medical bill; starting to make noise about the HCAP application can sometimes motivate the players (whether it’s the hospital or your health insurance company) to finally process your bill.
If you have any questions about this program, please contact the patient billing office of the hospital and ask them about the HCAP program.