How to apply for financial assistance

Health care can be very expensive. You might qualify for financial assistance, which could help reduce your costs.


Learn about financial assistance

Nonprofit hospitals must give financial assistance to eligible patients who can't afford to pay.

If you got care elsewhere, they may still offer financial assistance.

Ask your health care facility's billing department about financial assistance.

Note: You may come across the term “charity care.” This is sometimes used to refer to financial assistance.


How to apply for financial assistance

Search for your hospital’s financial assistance policy.

In a search engine, type the hospital name and “financial assistance” to find their policy. Or call the hospital and ask for details about their financial aid policy.

If you’re already at the hospital, ask for a copy of their policy.


Review the policy.

Read the hospital’s financial assistance policy.

Make sure you know the answers to these questions before you apply:

  • What are the eligibility requirements? 
  • How do you apply?
  • What is the deadline for applying?
  • Who should you call if you have questions?


Apply for financial assistance if you’re eligible.

Follow the policy’s instructions to apply. 

The hospital may ask you to submit a form online or print and mail a form.

Call the listed phone number if you have any questions about your application.


Check the status of your application.

After you apply, ask the hospital: 

  • How long it takes to process your application for financial assistance
  • How to get answers to questions about the application
  • What happens with your bill in the meantime


If your bill is in collections, tell any debt collectors that you're trying to get financial help.

Ask them to pause collections while that process plays out.

They already reported it on your credit. In that case, dispute an error on your credit report on


Reach out to a patient advocate organization or ask for a lower bill if financial assistance isn’t available.

Find a patient advocate who can help

Hospitals and medical offices can sometimes lower the price. They may also offer payment plans. Get tips on how to talk to your provider about your bill.

We’re here to help

Contact the No Surprises Help Desk for help in over 350 languages and for information in a format that’s accessible to you. You can also ask a question online using our complaints form.

Get help in Español, Français, عربي, русский, नेपाली, and 350 other languages:  1-800-985-3059

Page Last Modified:
06/22/2023 11:18 AM