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Charity care for old medical collections?

Regular Contributor

Charity care for old medical collections?

My husband has about $1300 in medical debt from late 2012 that is sitting with a collections company. I called the hospital a year ago asking if they'd be willing to recall the debt for payment in full and they would not. I ended up paying more pressing items instead and the bill is sitting there until I have the funds to pay it.


I recently saw someone advise someone else on here that for medical debt they should call the OC and ask if they qualify for charity care. I had never thought of this. I looked up the hopsitals charity care program and we would easily qualify, except they say specifically on the application that it's not for bills that have been in collections for over four months. I had no clue charity assistance was available back when the bills were current, I'd have applied.


So I did some googling and found a law help page for my state that says:


"If you receive a letter from a collection agency about the hospital bill, you should; Apply for Charity Care immediately, if you have not already done so. Send a letter to the collection agency (keep a copy) demanding that it stop all collection activity while your Charity Care application is being considered."


I found another pdf from website called healthconsumer that says:


"If you got hospital services after January 1, 2007, the hospital must give you a discount or charity care. You can still get a discount or charity care even if the hospital has sent your bill to a collection agency or you are being sued for payment of the bill. Collection agencies must follow hospital charity care and discount plan rules too. You should contact both the collection agency and the hospital and tell them you want to apply for the hospital’s charity care or discount payment program. "



So I'm confused, is there a time limit? Have I missed the boat on this one?

Message 1 of 3
Frequent Contributor

Re: Charity care for old medical collections?

It varies from hospital to hospital. My mother's bills were from as far back as 2013 and she qualified just last month.
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Message 2 of 3
Community Leader
Legendary Contributor

Re: Charity care for old medical collections?

I would recommend contacting your state regulatory agency that administers compliance with such programs.

Their job is to assist in compliance, including advising of the current statutory or regulatory requirments.

Internet posts can often be only the interpretation of the poster.......

Message 3 of 3