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Lots of people qualify— but providers won’t always tell you, or make it easy. Luckily, you can get help.

Sponsored by Telethink Health

If you’re facing a medical bill, you may qualify to get it written off entirely. 

Charity care policies make that possible. The majority of U.S. hospitals are non-profits, and they’re legally required to have charity care policies, sometimes they’re called financial assistance policies. These policies mean that if your income falls below a certain level, the hospital has to forgive your bill.

This is even more powerful than it might seem, for three reasons:

First, you don’t necessarily have to be dirt poor to qualify for help: Many hospitals give financial assistance to people with incomes at multiples of the federal poverty level. 

Second, for-profits often have charity-care policies too — and studies show they’re at least as generous as nonprofits, on the whole.

Third, charity care isn’t limited to hospitals. A lot of places you may go for medical care are owned by hospital systems, which have been gobbling up medical practices for years and years. 

So the door — and bill — for your local doctor’s office or medical clinic may feature the logo for a hospital system. This means that the hospital’s financial-assistance policy probably applies.

But don’t expect the hospital to tell you, or encourage you to apply. Hospitals have admitted to billing patients for $2.7 billion that could have been forgiven with charity care, in a single year. And that’s just what they admit to. Some actively try to minimize the aid they give.

Luckily, there’s help available. Like a lot of people, I learned about the power of financial assistance from Jared Walker, who laid it out in a 60-second TikTok  (which we fact-checked — and wow did it check out).

Since making that video in early 2021, Jared’s organization Dollar For has built a system for helping people access charity care. 

Take advantage of their amazing resources. Those include:

All of this is free.  

Need help now? Go there directly HERE


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