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In April of 2009 the “Hospital Uninsured Patient Discount Act” took effect in the state of Illinois. This law requires hospitals to provide discounts to uninsured, low income patients who receive medically necessary hospital services exceeding $300.
To qualify for the discount your income and assets must not exceed 600% of the federal poverty level. For a single person household the income limit for 2012 is $67,020 (See the link below for the 2012 poverty level guidelines for households of other sizes). To receive the discount you must verify your income and Illinois residency within 30 days of applying and you must apply no later than 60 days after receiving your medically necessary hospital service.
If you are eligible for the discount, the law states that you cannot be charged more than 35% above the actual cost of services. Additionally, for multiple services and hospital stays in a one year period, you may not be charged more than 25% of your income.
How to Receive the Discount if you are Uninsured?
The bill states that if you are uninsured your hospital bill or invoice must include a notification of the discount as well as further information on how to apply for the discount.
"(d) Each hospital bill, invoice, or other summary of charges to an uninsured patient shall include with it, or on it, a prominent statement that an uninsured patient who meets certain income requirements may qualify for an uninsured discount and information regarding how an uninsured patient may apply for consideration under the hospital's financial assistance policy."
For the full text of the bill and the 2012 poverty guidelines see the links below:
Full Text of the Bill
2012 Poverty Guidelines
Attorney General Press Release for the Hospital Uninsured Patient Discount Act