|Limitations on Charges, Billing, and Collections|
|Illinois law limits nonprofit and for-profit hospital collection practices.
Generally, Illinois hospitals may collect as payment for health care services no more than 25 percent of the family income of a patient eligible for an uninsured patient discount. S.B. 3261, codified as 210 ILCS 89/10(c) (2012).
Before pursuing a collection action against an uninsured patient, a hospital must afford the patient an opportunity to assess the accuracy of the bill, apply for financial assistance, and agree to a reasonable payment plan offered by the hospital. In addition, for an uninsured patient who has indicated the inability to pay the full amount of the bill in a single payment, the hospital must give the patient at least 60 days after discharge to submit an application for financial assistance/charity care. 210 ILCS 88/30(a)(1)-(3) (2007). A hospital may not refer a bill to a collection agency without first offering the patient an opportunity to request a reasonable payment plan within 30 days of the date of the initial bill, and giving the patient another 30 days from the request to agree to a reasonable payment plan offered by the hospital. 210 ILCS 88/30(b) (2007).
Additionally, a hospital may not pursue legal action for non-payment against an uninsured patient who has clearly demonstrated a lack of sufficient income or assets to pay the bill and who has acted reasonably and cooperated with the hospital in good faith. 210 ILCS 88/35 (2007).