More Washingtonians now eligible for free or discounted hospital care

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Swedish Edmonds Hospital
Millions of Washingtonians are now eligible for free or reduced health care thanks to an update to Washington state law that took effect July 1, 2022. 

Washingtonians within 300% of the federal poverty level now qualify for charity care for their full out-of-pocket hospital bill. 

Those within 400% of the federal poverty level are eligible for reduced care.

This care has to be considered “medically necessary.” In Washington approximately 4 million people may fall into these groups.

"This is a large help for low-income consumers who are facing large hospital bills. Changing this law allows for more people to get help with the impact of these large medical costs," said Gov. Jay Inslee.

For more information about the new charity care law and how you can apply for coverage, visit the state attorney general’s website or the Washington State Hospital Association’s website.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit against the Providence Hospital chain, including five Swedish Hospitals, for failing to notify patients that they could be eligible for discounted care under state law. He recently expanded the suit to include the two collection agencies employed by Providence.

Washington’s charity care law protects Washingtonians from out-of-pocket hospital costs. The protections apply to both insured and uninsured patients. It requires all hospitals — for-profit and nonprofit, public and private — to forgive some or all of the out-of-pocket cost of essential health care for patients who qualify.
If you paid for medical services or are in collections for a medical bill from a Providence or Swedish hospital or Kadlec Regional Medical Center, and believe you may be eligible for charity care, contact Attorney General’s Office Investigator Bau Vang at 206-516-2989 or by email at


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