NoHLA Testifies in Support of Bill to Inform Patients about Charity Care

NoHLA is supporting a bill in the Washington Legislature, House Bill 1359, that would require hospitals to inform patients that they may qualify for charity care – free or discounted care for low-income individuals that hospitals must provide under state law. This bill aims to ensure that patients are aware of this program by requiring a clear statement of charity care availability to be included in all hospital billing communications in both English and the most common non-English language spoken in the hospital service area. The bill would address a widespread problem: many low-income people are unaware that financial help is available and as a result, they incur debts and legal expenses they should not be responsible for.  NoHLA Executive Director Janet Varon testified in support of this legislation, along with representatives from Columbia Legal Services, Northwest Justice Project, and the Washington Attorney General’s office. NoHLA and OneAmerica recently issued a report about people facing this problem in the Yakima area.

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