California
Financial Assistance Policy
California requires all hospitals to adopt financial assistance policies.

California’s Hospital Fair Pricing Policies Act establishes, as a condition of licensure, minimum standards to be used in determining eligibility for free or discounted care under a hospital’s charity care and discounted care policies. Cal. Health & Safety Code §§127400 – 127466. Hospitals have discretion to extend eligibility for their discount payment and charity care policies to patients with incomes over 350 percent of the federal poverty level. Cal. Health & Safety Code §127400(a)-(g). Hospitals have discretion to extend eligibility for their discount payment and charity care policies to patients with incomes over 350 percent of the federal poverty level. Cal. Health & Safety Code §127405(a)(1)(A).

Among the additional elements that financial assistance policies must include is a requirement that emergency room physicians provide discounted emergency services to patients who are uninsured or have high medical costs and whose incomes do not exceed 350 percent of the federal poverty level. Cal. Health & Safety Code §§127400 – 127466.