Thursday, September 18, 2014

ObamaCare means hospitals offering less charity care

Stephen Maxwell, who suffers from chronic back care, used to qualify for charity hospital care.

Now thanks to ObamaCare--he no longer does.

From the Kansas City Star:
In January, Truman Medical Center, the hospital he has relied on for care, rolled back its financial assistance program. Truman used to provide free or discounted care for uninsured people making up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level — $46,680 for an individual. Now, only those making less than 200 percent qualify for the help. The change was intended to motivate people to sign up for health insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act.

Maxwell didn't get the message in time. His income from supervising sheltered workshop clients at the Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City is just under $25,000. That used to qualify him for a generous discount from Truman. But it puts him about $1,450 above the new limit for assistance.

"Now they told me I make too much money," Maxwell said. He said Truman wanted a five-figure down payment before he gets back surgery. "If I had $10,000 or $15,000 lying around, don't you think I’d have health insurance? I don't even have a bank account anymore."

Other low-income patients may be in for the same surprise. Hospitals across the country are rethinking their financial assistance policies now that the Affordable Care Act is making insurance available to more people.

No comments: