|Limitations on Charges, Billing, and Collections|
|Connecticut law limits the billing and collection practices of both nonprofit and for-profit hospitals.
Connecticut law requires hospitals to include in their bills to patients an explanation of any items identified by a code or initials, and must provide an itemized bill to a self-pay patient upon request. Conn. Gen. Stat. §19a-509(b). Connecticut prohibits hospitals from initiating an action to collect fees for hospital care unless the hospital has determined whether the individual 1) has an income at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty level, 2) has applied for and been denied eligibility for the state-administered general assistance program (Medicaid), and 3) is not eligible for coverage under Medicare or any other health insurance program, including any hospital bed fund(s). Conn. Gen. Stat. §§19a-673; 673b. No hospital that has provided health care services to an uninsured patient may collect from that patient more than the cost of providing the services. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§19a-673(b).
Hospitals may initiate an action to collect coinsurance and deductibles where these amounts may be eligible for reimbursement through a judicial award or where they have been paid or reimbursed, or are likely to be paid or reimbursed, directly to the patient. Conn. Gen. Stat. §19a-673b(b).
If, at any point during the debt collection process, a hospital or collection agency becomes aware that a patient is eligible for hospital bed funds, free or reduced price hospital services, or any other program, then collection efforts must be stopped until an eligibility determination is made. Conn. Gen. Stat. §19a-673d.