Health Care : Hospitals

What if I need to go to an emergency room? Do they have to treat me?

All emergency rooms have to provide treatment to stabilize patients before discharging or transferring them to another health care facility.

What if I have a bill from a hospital and I cannot pay it?

If your income is less than the Federal Poverty Level, the Hospital Care Assurance Program (HCAP) may help you.

HCAP pays hospitals to provide services to low-income uninsured Ohioans. You can ask a hospital to write off the charges for all hospital level services.

Hospitals are required to give all patients notice of the HCAP on their bills.

Ask your hospital billing department about HCAP.

In addition, many hospitals also have other low-income charity care programs. Ask your hospital what programs they have.

Can a hospital refuse to treat me if I don’t have insurance?

If you have an emergency medical condition, a hospital cannot refuse to treat you to stabilize you in the emergency room. Once your condition has stabilized, they do not have to continue your treatment if you are unable to pay.

Does my hospital have to accept my Medicaid or Medicare?

Most hospitals do accept both Medicaid and Medicare.

If they have received Hill-Burton assistance in the past, they must accept all public health insurance programs like Medicaid and Medicare.

If a hospital refuses to accept Medicaid or Medicare as payment for your services, ask if they have received Hill-Burton funds in the past. If they have, the Hill-Burton Community Services Obligations require them to accept them as payment.

See also the Forms & Education tab in this section for more information.

The information in this site is not intended as legal advice.
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