Friday, March 31, 2023


Donald Trump indicted by Manhattan grand jury; Georgia campaign fights to reopen local hospitals; New Mexico creates first-ever $100M conservation fund.


Former President Donald Trump is indicted by Manhattan's district attorney, House Republicans take aim at renewables in new energy bill and House Dems introduce the Women's Protection Health Act.


Small towns respond to a hidden housing and homelessness crisis, a new national weather prediction system will help close the gap between urban and rural forecasting, and more rural communities are eligible for a design project to boost economic development.

Hospital Charity Care Could Help More Mainers Avoid Medical Debt


Monday, November 21, 2022   

Maine requires its hospitals to provide medically necessary care to its residents at no charge as a condition of receiving tax-exempt status, but not all eligible patients apply.

Mainers with income up to 150% of the federal poverty level can apply for charity-care funds, but documentation requirements can be tricky for non-English speakers, gig workers and those without reliable internet access.

Kate Ende, policy director at Consumers for Affordable Healthcare, said the funds exist so Mainers can get the health care they need.

"These programs are available to people who are uninsured as well as people who maybe have private insurance but have a really high deductible, or other out-of-pocket costs that are expensive," Ende explained.

Accessing the charity funds can help people avoid the heavy burden of medical debt, Ende pointed out, adding many people would be surprised to learn they qualify, if they would simply apply.

Four in 10 Americans carry medical debt while one in seven adults say they have delayed hospital services due to cost. Yet, charity funds remain underutilized.

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation study shows half of U.S. hospitals reported the cost of providing charity care made up just 1.4% of their operating expenses.

Ende argued people deserve quality health care, and it is OK to ask for help.

"People are avoiding care, cutting pills in half, or not filling a prescription their doctor has prescribed," Ende observed. "We know Mainers are going without the care and medications they need because of costs."

Maine hospitals are required to notify patients of charity-care policies prior to collecting payment, and Ende noted some health care workers, such as anesthesiologists, practice care at hospitals but are not employees and would not be covered under any assistance funds.

Patients can find more information at or by calling the Consumers for Affordable Healthcare hotline at 1-800-965-7476.

Disclosure: Consumers for Affordable Healthcare contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, and Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Parents, students and teachers are raising concerns over proposed education policies in the Sunshine State. (Pixabay)

Social Issues

Algunos estudiantes, padres y educadores planean reunirse para enviar un mensaje al gobernador Ron DeSantis en el Día de los Inocentes. El …



Social Issues

Tennesseans aren't the only ones mourning the tragic loss of three children and three adults at this week's shooting at Nashville's Covenant School…

While more than 3,500 people have been awarded the Medal of Honor since it was created by President Abraham Lincoln, only 65 of them are alive today. (The White House)

Social Issues

While National Medal of Honor Month is ending, plans to develop a museum and monument for the award are continuing. Numerous Medal of Honor …

Social Issues

Construction of the Medal of Honor Museum and Foundation is under way in Arlington, Texas - a place to pay tribute to those who've earned the …

According to a new report, 40% of all Black apprentices in the construction field face ongoing discrimination and exclusion from high-paying supervisorial and managerial roles. (Tongpatong/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Labor leaders in various industries recently celebrated the 85th anniversary of a federal law that laid the groundwork for registered apprenticeship p…


New Mexico is using some of its surplus budget funds, primarily from oil and gas revenues, to establish the state's first-ever source of recurring …

Social Issues

A recent report from the Prison Policy Initiative calls for better state laws to keep incarcerated parents close to their kids. It finds 12 states …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021