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CHA can help answer your healthcare questions.

  • Call our helpline at (888) 614-5400 Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm,
  • or email

Resolving Medical Bills when Uninsured

Hospital Financial Assistance

New York State law requires all hospitals to offer discounts to consumers who are uninsured or cannot afford to pay the full cost of their care. These discounts are called financial assistance. In order to apply for Hospital Financial Assistance, your bill must be for hospital-based services.

You may be eligible for hospital financial assistance if you have low to moderate income or if you can prove an inability to pay.

Who qualifies for financial assistance?

You may qualify for financial assistance if:

  • You are uninsured or your insurance coverage ran out
  • Your income is below 300% of FPL ($37,470 for a single person; $63,990 for a family of three)
  • You can’t afford to pay for care
  • You live in the hospital’s geographic service area (with some exceptions)

*There are no immigration status requirements for hospital financial assistance.

How much will I have to pay?

Hospitals apply a sliding scale discount to your bill if you qualify for financial assistance. Your cost will depend on your income. People with higher incomes pay higher costs. People with very low income receive care for very low cost, or even for free.

How do I apply?

Ask the hospital billing department for a financial assistance application. Hospitals must notify patients about Hospital Financial Assistance and must make applications available to patients. However financial assistance applications can be hard to obtain and daunting to complete.  Hospitals cannot ask you for the following documents in order to complete your application: Tax returns, proof of citizenship or Social Security Number, proof of assets, monthly bills and expenses, unless they would help explain your financial situation.

If the hospital staff does not give you an application or does not help you fill it out, please contact CHA at 888-614-5400.

I didn’t know about financial assistance before I went to the hospital. Is it too late to apply?

You can apply for financial assistance after you receive care at the hospital. Call the hospital billing department and ask for help applying for financial assistance.

The hospital already sent my bill to a collection agency. What can I do?

You can still apply for financial assistance. Hospital collection agencies must abide by the hospital’s financial assistance policy. Ask the collection agency how to apply.

If you need help applying for hospital financial assistance, please contact CHA at 888-614-5400.

Debt Negotiation

If you have determined that you are responsible for the bill, you may consider negotiating the debt. Many non-hospital based providers also have financial assistance policies and are willing to negotiate. Click here for our Do-It-Yourself Debt Negotiation Packet.

Download the packet in Spanish: Do It Yourself Debt Negotiation Packet – Spanish

If you have questions or further assistance with your medical bills, please contact CHA at 888-614-5400.

CHA can help answer your healthcare questions.

  • Call our helpline at (888) 614-5400 Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm,
  • or email

Healthcare Q&A

Read short articles that answer frequently asked questions about healthcare and insurance. Find out how CHA has helped others, and can help you. Choose a topic: