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Home > Health Insurance Basics > Health Care Costs > Hospital Bills

Financial Assistance for Hospital Bills

Man looking at bill in front of a computer

 

Do you need help paying your hospital bill?

Most hospitals offer help through their Fair Price discount policy.

 

   

How to qualify for a Fair Price discount

Under California law, most hospitals must have a policy for providing a Fair Price discount for patients at or under 350% of the federal poverty level and who are uninsured or who have high health care costs.

  • Your eligibility for a Fair Price discount usually depends on your household income and the number of people who live in your household. 
  • Some hospitals offer additional financial assistance, including charity care (free care).

Find your hospital's Fair Price discount policy and application on the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) website. You can also use the calculator on this website to see if your income is at or under 350% percent of the federal poverty level.

 

How to apply for financial assistance

Contact your hospital to apply for a Fair Price discount and other available financial assistance.

  • Ask the hospital's billing office, admissions office, or emergency department for an application form.  
  • Many hospitals use a single application for both Fair Price discounts and their other financial assistance programs, such as for charity care (free care). If the hospital uses separate applications, be sure to ask for both forms.
  • If you are unable to get an application from the hospital staff, you can find the Fair Price application form for your hospital on the OSHPD website.
  • If you already received a hospital bill that you cannot pay, notify the hospital billing office immediately that you are applying for a Fair Price discount to prevent the bill from being sent to a collections agency.
  • Return the completed application form to the hospital along with other requested documents. A hospital will usually ask you to provide additional documents to prove your income and financial need.

 

For more information about hospital bills and related consumer protections, visit www.hospitalbillhelp.org.

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