Understanding Charity Care

What is Charity Care?

The hospital provides necessary healthcare at no charge or at a reduced charge to those who meet the financial need requirements.

Who is Eligible for Charity Care?

Charity Care is generally for people who do not have other financial resources available, such as insurance, government programs, or regular income.

How do I Apply?

Application for Charity Care includes a completed Financial Statement and proof of income for the past twelve-months for the responsible person and spouse, using any of the following:

  • Payroll check stubs
  • Most recent IRS tax returns
  • Unemployment compensation records
  • Letter of support from individuals providing basic needs
  • Notice of benefits from government programs

Who Sees My Application?

Your application and all information relating to it will be kept strictly confidential.

When Will I Know if I am Eligible?

Within fourteen days after receiving your application, the hospital will notify you in writing.

What Happens if I am Eligible?

Your written notice will include the level of discount allowed. If outstanding balance is not paid, the hospital reserves the right to cancel Charity Care discounts and assign unpaid balances to a collection agency.

What if I'm Not Eligible?

Denial notices will include the reason for the denial, payment terms, and instructions for appeal. You may appeal the decision by providing additional proof of income or family size within 30 days. All appeals will be reviewed by the director of Patient Accounts and the Chief Financial Officer. You will receive written notice of their final decision.

What About My Other Medical Expenses?

The hospital's decision to provide Charity Care does not affect your financial obligation to your physician or other healthcare providers.

Where Can I Get More Information or Help?

For help with your application, or if you need more than 14 days to complete it, contact your Financial Services Representative at 360-788-6500 or 1-800-282-7148.

Applications may be obtained in person from Patient Accounts or conducted over the phone.

PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center
Patient Accounts - South Campus
2901 Squalicum Parkway
Bellingham, WA 98225

Phone: 360-788-6500 or 1-800-282-7148 ​