Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The Connection between the Affordable Care Act, Charity Care

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The Connection between the Affordable Care Act, Charity Care

Article excerpt

From October 2013 through March 2014, the nation received its first experience with purchasing health insurance through a web- based health insurance exchange. More health insurance options are now available, especially for those previously denied coverage by reason of pre-existing medical condition.

Early last fall, BJC HealthCare along with many hospitals, community health centers, the Missouri Foundation for Health and the Regional Health Commission began working with patients and families to help our community understand these new insurance options. Marketplace navigators, certified application counselors, and the broker community mobilized to provide guidance and counseling services to patients and families eligible to purchase health insurance at healthcare.gov.

The Post-Dispatch recently reported that BJC has changed the upper threshold of eligibility for charity care from 400 percent of the federal poverty limit ($96,000 for a family of four) to 300 percent ($72,000 for a family of four). This change is associated with a provision of the newly implemented Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that requires families with annual incomes above $24,000 to have health insurance.

Even though most people are now required to have health insurance, not-for-profit hospitals and health service organizations will continue to provide three kinds of free or unreimbursed care. The first kind is "charity care" services provided with no anticipation or expectation of payment, almost always associated with care provided to patients who have low household incomes and who do not have health insurance. The second kind is a "discount," provided to patients who are uninsured, who have incomes that are too high to qualify for charity care, and too low to be able to afford needed health care without financial assistance. The third kind is an "uncollectible account" amounts owed by patients that for myriad reasons are not collectible. What all three kinds of "free care" have in common is that services are provided to a patient for which no payment or only partial payment is received to cover the cost of those services. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.