The hospital first makes an initial determination of eligibility based on information you verbally give it.
After the hospital makes this initial determination, you must give the hospital proof of your income, and your assets, depending on your household’s income.
Here are some examples of proof of income:
- Pay stubs
- Income tax returns from the past year
- W-2 statements from your employer
- Social Security or Unemployment income statements
- DSHS documents, including medical coupons and/or approval for cash benefits
You must give the hospital these documents by the deadline stated in the hospital’s letter.
- If you need help or more time with the application because of a language barrier, disability, or any other hardship, call the hospital. Ask for more time or help.
If you give all the information requested and the hospital needs more, they must ask you in writing. If you do not give the hospital all documentation by the deadline, they may deny your application.
Except for patients getting the entire bill written off , a hospital may reduce the amount of the discount by considering the value of things you own (your assets) and how available they are to you. Hospitals must have a policy about such asset consideration and discounts and make it publicly available.
A hospital policy may not consider any of these:
- The first $5,000 of cash you have on hand or in a bank account if you are a single person, $8,000 for a family of two, and $1,500 for each additional family member.
- Any equity in a home you own and use as your primary residence.
- Retirement plans, other than 401(k) plans.
- Any prepaid burial contract or burial plot.
- Any life insurance policy with a value of $10,000 or less.
- One motor vehicle, and a second motor vehicle that you need for employment or medical purposes.
The hospital has the right to get information about your assets. If other proof of an asset is not available, the hospital must accept your written and signed statement about your asset.