What is "financial assistance"?
It is the amount the patient does not have to pay based on the patient’s family and financial situation. The discount amount is calculated as a percentage of charges. Baptist offers financial assistance to uninsured and underinsured patients.
How do I apply for financial assistance?
The Baptist Financial Assistance Policy (FAP) details the process for applying. After reading the policy, the patient should complete the Financial Assistance Application and submit this application with substantiating financial documents to the billing office where services were received.
Does the discount cover all of my charges?
No, Baptist financial assistance only covers charges by Baptist facilities and providers. In some cases, patients may receive separate bills for non-covered services; example of which include outside labs and non-participating physicians, among others. The BMHCC website link for the list of participating providers is baptistonline.org/find-a-doctor/.
What is a self-pay minimum discount?
The self-pay minimum discount is a flat rate discount amount given to all uninsured patients. Patients determined to be eligible for financial assistance for emergency and other medically necessary care will not be charged more than the amounts generally billed (AGB). If the patient is unable or unwilling to provide the necessary supporting documentation required to determine eligibility per the Baptist FAP, the patient will receive the flat discount rate. The minimum discount rate may slightly vary at different Baptist facilities.
Why isn’t the self-pay minimum discount the same at all of the Baptist locations?
The self-pay minimum discount is a flat-rate discount amount given to all uninsured patients. The minimum discount rate may slightly vary between different Baptist facilities due to geographic and reimbursement factors. As Baptist operates in three different states, discounts are impacted by not only federal guidelines, but also state and county laws.
Do I have to apply for the self-pay minimum discount?
No, all self-pay patients will receive this discount automatically unless the patient falls in one of the six categories of patients specifically excluded from the Baptist FAP.
I had to go to the emergency room after a car wreck. I do not have insurance. Why can’t I get financial assistance?
Charges generated as the result of a motor vehicle accident are generally excluded from the Baptist FAP. However, if the patient provides proof that there is no third party insurance coverage for this incident, then the patient is eligible to apply for financial assistance.
Why do you need to know who lives in our house?
Baptist's policy is based on the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG). The FPG uses family size to determine the income threshold percentages. Per the Baptist FAP, “a family is a group of two or more persons related by birth, marriage, or adoption who live together; all such related persons are considered as members of one family. For instance, if an older married couple, their daughter and her husband and two children, and the older couple's nephew all lived in the same house or apartment; they would be considered members of a single family” of seven for Baptist assistance calculations.
What documents are needed to determine if I qualify for financial assistance?
The FAP states that the following documents can be used to determine the family income.
- Pay stubs for the last three months,
- Income tax return for the previous year,
- W2 Form for the previous year,
- State/Federal assistance documents,
- Bank statements for the last 3 months,
- Legal documents including divorce decrees and/or child support and alimony,
The most recent income information is given priority in determining financial status. Documentation supporting the income of all family members must be provided. Gross income is used for determining the patient’s financial status. Noncash benefits like food stamps are not counted as income, although statements with income determination from these sources can be used to support the income determination.
I am paid in cash and do not have any of the financial documents on the approved list in the policy. Can I have my employer write a letter that shows he pays me $100 every week?
No, letters cannot be used to substantiate income. If patients cannot provide any of the sources listed in the FAP as acceptable documentation, then they will receive the self-pay minimum discount.
Is educational financial aid considered income and included in the determination?
Financial aid that a student is receiving is considered income and is counted in the income determination.
How long is my financial assistance discount good for?
Once you have been approved, the financial assistance discount percentage is good for 90 days. The coverage dates will be listed on your approval letter. After the discount period has expired, you will need to re-apply.
If I am denied for additional financial assistance, when can I reapply?
Patients who did not qualify for discounted care may reapply after 30 days.
Do I have to apply at each different Baptist hospital that I go to?
No, once you have been approved for a Baptist FAP discount, that discount is good for emergency and/or medically necessary care at any Baptist facility. The best practice is to show your assistance approval letter to the person registering you at each facility.
The hospital says I do not have a charity discount, but I was approved for a 100% discount at my doctor’s office. Why do I have to apply again?
Unless your assistance discount period has expired, you do not have to apply again. You can take your assistance approval letter to any of the other Baptist facilities and show it to the person registering you. If you have already received the service and your discount was not applied, please call the Business Office number listed on your bill and they will work with you to resolve.