Financial Help for Indigent Patients

Government Programs

Medicaid provides assistance for those in low-income brackets and covers medical visits, prescription costs and equipment to people in need. Unfortunately, even Medicaid can leave some applicants out, and state indigent programs often help fill the gap in care. State indigent health care programs provide assistance based on your income, equity and any other resources you have available. State programs often consider medical expenses as deductions when assessing someone for assistance. State programs vary, but many cover medical visits, emergency care costs and prescriptions on a sliding scale which is based on a patient's ability to pay. Depending on your state regulations, you can apply through the Department of Health and Human Services for Medicaid and through your county government or a local hospital for indigent care programs.

Medical Facilities

Many physicians waive or reduce co-payments for indigent patients without insurance. Such waivers can normally not be provided for those who have other insurance plans due to fraud regulations, as it could lead to the insurance company being overcharged. However, some physicians are able to waive co-pays for Medicare patients, assuming that the patient provides information about their financial status and that the waiver is not based on the amount of a patient's medical charges. Medical facilities often provide indigent patients with financial help by reducing their payments as a self-pay patient or by allowing them to pay in installments. Some hospitals also provide charity programs to medical facilities if the patient can show that they have financial need by providing income statements, proof of expenses or other pertinent information that relates to their financial situation to the billing office.

Prescription Assistance

Indigent patients may not have all their medical expenses covered from Medicaid or state indigent care programs and might need assistance with prescriptions. Manufacturers of medications provide financial help for indigent patients by providing prescriptions at a discount or at no charge. Indigent patients usually need to apply, with financial documentation, and have information about their health condition sent to the manufacturer.

Medical Equipment

Some medical supply companies provide help to patients in need of supplies or equipment. One company, Hart Medical Supplies, provides this help through its Indigent Patient Program. Donations of gently used medical equipment provided by manufacturers, families and individuals is granted to indigent patients in need of assistance through medical supply companies. You may be able to contact local medical supply companies to see if they are willing to assist with your medical needs. Indigent means that a person lacks food, clothing and/or other necessities due to poverty. Many indigent people avoid receiving medical care because of the high costs and their inability to pay. If you are an indigent patient, you may be wondering how to receive financial help for your medical expenses. Several programs exist to offer financial help to assist indigent patients in receiving medical care, prescriptions and equipment that they need to properly prevent or treat medical conditions.