This special program helps pay for hospital bills. Washington State law requires hospitals to give free or reduced-cost medical care to people who meet certain income qualifications.
If you are getting health care in a hospital, or you have a bill for care you got at a hospital, ask for a Charity Care application to find out if you are eligible.
When the hospital admits you, it should provide notice of its Charity Care program. You can ask for an application while in the hospital or after you are discharged. You should apply as soon as possible after getting hospital care.
However, you can apply for Charity Care at any time, even after your bill has been turned over to a collection agency or you have been sued for the debt.
Fill out the application and turn it in by the deadline stated on it. You must prove your income is low enough to get Charity Care.
You must turn in proof, such as copies of:
- Pay stubs
- Income tax returns
- Forms from DSHS or Social Security
To make sure the hospital reviews your application and documents in a timely manner, you should:
- Make a copy of your documents and application before sending them in
- Get proof of delivery (fax confirmation or tracking with delivery confirmation)
- If you hand in the application and documents at the hospital, ask the hospital employee who accepts your documents to sign and date your copy
- Follow up with a phone call to make sure the hospital has all the documents it needs to decide on your Charity Care application
To learn more, read Can I get Charity Care benefits to pay for my hospital bill?.
Charity Care covers hospital care only. It does not cover bills from doctors or others who treat you but who do not work for a hospital.
No matter who is billing you, for any service at a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office, you can ask if financial assistance is available and how you can apply.