We understand life can change at anytime. For many working families, disaster is just one illness, job loss, or other tragedy away. Group Health's Sponsored Care programs provide temporary financial safety nets for Group Health patients during difficult times. Many patients who receive this special help are struggling in the aftermath of a catastrophic accident, dealing with major surgery, or coping with a serious chronic disease or life-threatening illness.
Sponsored Care provides financial assistance through two separate sponsorship programs: Health Care Assistance (HCA) and Charity Care (CC). Both programs require evidence of financial need. Group Health members can be referred by Group Health staff or apply on their own to receive Sponsored Care.
Health Care Assistance
Health Care Assistance helps qualifying Group Health members pay their bills for medically necessary care. HCA aids members in resolving temporary financial difficulties by providing help with deductibles, copayments, and fees for services provided at Group Health facilities for up to one year.
Group Health waives outstanding patient bills for medically necessary care, provided the patient receives care during the approved sponsorship period and has Group Health coverage on the date of service.
Note: Group Health Options members are not eligible.
Charity Care helps low-income patients receive access to care. Charity Care is available for Group Health members and non-members, and is only available at Central Hospital at Group Health Capitol Hill Campus in Seattle. The Washington State Department of Health defines the type of services eligible as Charity Care, and outlines eligibility requirements.
There are two types of Group Health Charity Care: Standard Charity Care and Catastrophic Charity Care. Through Charity Care, Group Health is committed to:
- Waiving outstanding bills for eligible hospital care and related follow-up care for a period of 31 days.
- Not taking legal action for non-payment of eligible medical bills against any person who is unemployed and without other significant income.
- Waiving outstanding fees for eligible hospital care and related follow-up care in the event of a catastrophic event for a period up to 12 months.
Qualifying for Sponsored Care
To qualify for HCA, patients must have a household income at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty level. To qualify for CC, patients must have a household income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Patients who have experienced a catastrophic event may be eligible under special circumstances, regardless of household income.
To see if you qualify, view the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Poverty Guidelines chart. Multiply your income by 2 (for CC) or 2.5 (for HCA). Compare that number with the chart's income that matches the number of people in your family.
To learn more about Sponsored Care and how to enroll, please contact Customer Service.