Patient's Financial Aid Law (FAL)
On January 1, 2007, a state law went into effect that limits what hospitals in New York can charge patients with limited incomes and no health insurance coverage. The law also regulates how hospitals can go about collecting payments from such patients.
All hospitals in New York licensed by the Department of Health are covered by this law. Purely mental health facilities licensed only by the NYS Office of Mental Health are not covered by this law.
This law covers patients who:
- are New York State residents;
- or who have exhausted their health insurance benefits for the medical services they seek;
- have incomes at or below 300% of the "federal poverty level" (FPL). How much money this represents depends on the size of the patient´s family.
To view the current federal poverty chart please see 2013 Poverty Guidelines
Public Health Law 2807-k(9-a) - FAL Statute
Hospital Financial Assistance Programs (HFAP) for Patients
Some hospitals voluntarily extend discount policies to people who do have health insurance, but are unable to fully pay co-pay and deductible amounts, also, to patients with incomes above 300% of the federal poverty level. So even if you have insurance or if your income is above the 300% level, you should feel free to ask the hospital about what discounts and/or installment payment plans may be available.
For more information go to HFAP for Patients website.
Understanding Your Financial Aid Rights
As a result of this law, the Department issued a compliance letter to providers:
- November 14, 2013 - FAL Compliance Letter to Providers