Washington lawmakers this year expanded the state’s charity care program to extend discounted hospital care to about 1 million additional residents and mandate zero out-of-pocket costs for another million who already qualified for discounts. However, the legislature did not include additional funding to cover the extra uncompensated costs for hospitals.
The amended law creates a two-tiered system that requires different patient discounts for large health care systems and for smaller, independent hospitals. Large health care systems may not charge out-of-pocket costs to individuals or families with income up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). Smaller hospitals may not charge out-of-pocket costs for individuals or families with income up to 200 percent of the FPL.
Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.