Hospital Charity, 20% Off Bill (What to do if Denied State Aide for Pregnancy)

As I briefly mentioned in the first post on this blog, we didn’t make enough to afford health insurance and our current employment didn’t provide benefits. When Lisa became pregnant, we reached out to certain state aide programs but were denied for all of them on the basis that we make too much money. I will go into more details on our personal finances, the cost of health insurance, and what the cut offs are for state aide in a future post, but the point of this post is to talk about what to do if you don’t qualify for state assistance on the account of making too much money. (The short version is that we don’t make a lot of money and the thresholds to qualify are quite low.)

After being turned down on every other avenue we had no where else to look other than the hospital that will be providing the services. We met with a financial counselor and had to provide our Medicaid denial form, last 3 month check stubs, and last years tax returns. She explained to us that often, but not always, the hospital is willing to give financial assistance to people in our situation. It was relatively simple, we just had a quick 5 minute chat and gave the documents requested, yet it took nearly 7 weeks before we heard anything back. When we did hear back, we were told the hospital was able to provide us with what they called “a 20% charity reduction”.

So on all future bills it should show what we are charged at full price, the subtracted 20% charity reduction, and we will be responsible to pay for the remaining 80%. We also were able to setup a payment plan where we pay $200 flat per month with no interest. So basically, for every $1,000 in services, we have to pay $800.

This was good news and we are grateful the hospital is willing to help us out, so if you find yourself in a situation where you are turned down for any kind of assistance, I would recommend talking to the hospitals directly. If you are able to, you may want to sit down with more than one. We live in a small town so we only had one practical option available.

I estimate that after all is said in done our final bill will end up being around $12,000. So with this discount, that brings it down to $9,600 for a savings of $2,400. Again, this is just my guess based on some quick Google searches and talking to other people, and assumes no complications. I’m trying to focus on the positives – a savings of $2,400 is good (and two years of payments at $200 per month) instead of focusing on the final amount that will surely keep us in debt for years to come. Not to mention our little monkey that should bring us great joy.

So I’m happy we will be saving 20%, although the final amount we will have to pay still remains a mystery.

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