Charity Care bill goes into effect for all Minnesotans

Charity Care Bill Kicks in for Minnesotans

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(ABC 6 News) – Minnesotans without health insurance and insured patients with medical debt will begin to have an easier time knowing if they qualify for charity care thanks to a bill passed in the last legislative session.

The bill, spearheaded by State Senator Liz Boldon, now requires all hospitals in the state to screen patients for public health program eligibility and financial assistance, as well as those offered by the hospital.

The bill went into effect on Wednesday and hospitals will have 30 days to complete their screenings and make sure uninsured patients can receive some form of charity care.

Related: MN Attorney General investigates harmful medical billing practices

Senator Boldon says this is a huge step in curbing medical debt for people in Minnesota, “We know medical debt is a huge issue, it’s the number one cause of bankruptcy across the country. It’s a big issue for Minnesotans, it’s just making sure that Minnesotans have the resources, that they have the information about what resources they qualify for to help them with medical debt.”

The bill will also stop hospitals from engaging in suing patients for collection efforts before they can determine what charity care they qualify for.