skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Friday, July 19, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As Trump accepts nomination for President, delegates emphasize themes of unity and optimism envisioning 'new golden age.' But RNC convention was marked by strong opposition to LGBTQ rights, which both opened and closed the event.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Hospital Charity Care Could Help More Mainers Avoid Medical Debt

play audio
Play

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 mainecahc.org 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
more stories
Vice President Kamala Harris spoke at a political event in Grand Rapids, Mich., in early 2024. (The White House/Wikimedia Commons)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Vice President Kamala Harris focused on reproductive rights at a campaign event in Michigan Wednesday. Her remarks come as President Joe Biden has …


Environment

play sound

Construction could begin in Minnesota later this year in the final phase of one of the nation's largest solar energy developments, after state …

Social Issues

play sound

Thousands of educators from across the nation will be in Houston starting this weekend for the American Federation of Teachers annual convention…


The Illinois State Board of Education report card said O'Fallon Township High School HSD #203 is currently only funded at 64%. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

By Kristy Alpert for Arts Midwest.Broadcast version by Terri Dee for Illinois News Connection reporting for the Arts Midwest-Public News Service Colla…

Social Issues

play sound

More than 2,400 delegates gathered in Milwaukee this week for the Republican National Convention and delegates from around the country, including …

Researchers said extreme events in nearly every region of Wisconsin are causing immense disruptions affecting human health, the economy and natural resources. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

So far, states like Wisconsin have largely escaped the worst of the summer heat affecting much of the nation but a group of scientists wants regional …

Social Issues

play sound

Postsecondary enrollment data for 2023 shows community college enrollment increased nationwide by more than 100,000 students, and a large percentage …

Environment

play sound

By Stephen Battersby for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Broadcast version by Kathryn Carley for Commonwealth News Service…

 

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