Financial Assistance for Those in Need
Sutter Health has a long history of giving back to the community—Our commitment is reflected in our generous financial assistance policies for patients who seek care at our hospitals or medical foundations.
In February 2004, Sutter Health affiliates adopted a common, system wide charity care policy. No uninsured patient, regardless of their financial status, will receive a bill for full-billed charges at a Sutter hospital. In March 2006, Sutter Health adopted a new policy for all of our affiliated hospitals that provides for those facilities to offer automatic discounts to uninsured patients. These discounts are comparable to the negotiated discounts that the hospitals provide to private insurance companies. In January 2016, Sutter Health adopts a new policy that provides income-based charity care, and other forms of Financial Assistance including discounts to qualified patients.
Our Northern California network of hospitals offers financial assistance to help low-income patients, insured patients with high medical costs, and uninsured patients. Our policies provide:
- Full charity care to uninsured patients earning 400% or less of the Federal Poverty Income Guideline (FPIG).
- Hospital discounts are available to uninsured patients who exceed 401% of FPIG.
- Standard Uninsured Discount: 40% reduction of Billed Charges for Inpatient Services and 20% reduction of Billed Charges for Outpatient Services.
- Rural Uninsured Discount: 20% reduction of Billed Charges for Inpatient and Outpatient Services at rural Hospitals. Sutter Lakeside Hospital and Center for Health, Sutter Coast Hospital, and Sutter Amador Hospital are rural hospitals.
- A write off of the Patient Responsibility amount for Hospital Services to insured patients earning 400% or less of the FPIG and with high medical costs (medical expenses over the past 12 months exceeding 10% of family income).
- Payment plans with no interest charges to all patients.
- A prompt payment discount of 10% of the amount owed by an Uninsured Patient after all other discounts have been applied, if payment is made at time of service or within 30 calendar days of the date of first billing to the patient.
For a copy of these policies in over 20 different languages, please visit Financial Assistance and Billing/Collections Policy.
Sutter-affiliated medical foundations have financial assistance policies separate from the system wide hospital policy. These policies allow for income-based charity care and uninsured patient discounts. To learn more about these programs or to apply for financial assistance, please contact any Sutter-affiliated medical foundation.
Medical Foundation contact information.
Billing and Collection Policy
Sutter Health’s standardized collection practices policy prohibits wage garnishments and bench warrants, prohibits property foreclosures and limits the cases in which liens can be filed.
- See if you qualify for free or discounted care at nearby hospitals by visiting the California Hospital Free and Discount Payment Programs website.Opens new window
- Search for hospital charity care policies at the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development’s website.Opens new window
- Find updated poverty guidelines at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) website.Opens new window
The new Health Care Exchange offers new options to people with low income and those who cannot afford insurance.
Covered California and Sutter Health
Covered California FAQs
Learn how our charity care policy has impacted patients' lives
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