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Financial Counseling

Financial Assistance

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Seattle Children’s Financial Assistance

Seattle Children’s provides healthcare appropriate for the special needs of patients:

  • Without regard for their ability to pay
  • Up to 21 years of age
  • Who are residents of Washington, Alaska, Montana or Idaho

Financial assistance is provided to patients based on:

  • Family need
  • Hospital resources

Children’s has criteria for financial assistance that meet the requirements of the laws in Washington. The criteria help staff make fair and consistent decisions about who is eligible.

Once financial assistance is granted it lasts for:

  • The episode of care it was granted for
  • Up to 1 year for conditions that require treatment on an ongoing basis

Patients can re-apply for financial assistance at any time.

Services That Qualify

Only medically needed services qualify for financial assistance. This includes services that diagnose, correct, cure or prevent conditions from getting worse that:

  • Endanger life
  • Cause suffering or pain
  • Result in illness
  • Threaten to cause a handicap or make one worse
  • Cause a physical deformity or malfunction

Services That Do Not Qualify

  • Elective or cosmetic services (such as making teeth straight, changing the shape or look of the ears, or circumcision when there is no medical need to do it)
  • Genetic testing to find out if a genetic condition could be passed to future children

Criteria for Financial Assistance

Patients must meet all of these criteria to be eligible for financial assistance:

  • Reside in Washington, Alaska, Montana or Idaho
  • Be under age 21 – there are a few exceptions:
    • Patients 21 and older who meet income guidelines and the Medical Director decides their condition is best treated by a pediatric specialist
    • Adults who are being tested to further the care of a Children’s patient who is under the age of 21
    • Adults who receive care in our Prenatal Clinic
    • Adults who receive care in our Emergency Department who meet income guidelines
     
  • Use up funds from all other funding sources first, which include:
    • Group or individual medical plans and health insurance
    • Medicare or Medicaid programs
    • Other federal, state, tribal or military programs such as Indian Health Services and Tricare
    • Third-party insurance (from auto accidents or personal injuries)
    • Workers’ compensation programs
    • Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs)
    • Grant or trust funds for which the patient may be eligible
    • Any other funds from a person or entity that may have a legal responsibility to pay
  • Please note that we may ask you to provide written proof that a patient is not eligible for a funding source. You do not need to send this information unless we ask for it.
  • Meet income guidelines.
  • Apply. You can also get a form from staff at a check-in desk or from financial counseling.

When You Apply

You can apply online or mail, fax or email your form to us. A PDF of the application is available.

Mail: Seattle Children’s Hospital
PO Box 5371
Mailstop RC504
Seattle, WA 98145-5005

Email: financialcounselor@seattlechildrens.org  

Fax: 206-987-6639

  • Staff will help with forms and filling them out. Call a financial counselor at 206-987-3333, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Forms can be turned in any time before, during or after a course of care.
  • We reserve the right to request written proof to verify your income. It does not need to be sent unless we ask for it.
  • We will keep the information you give us private.

When You Are Approved or Denied

  • Decisions are made without regard to race, sex, creed, ethnicity, religion or other protected status of applicants.
  • A letter will be sent to the person who turned in the form within 14 days of receipt of the application.
  • The letter will say whether you are approved or denied.
  • The letter will also tell you the period of time that you qualify.
  • The information in the letter is shared with Children’s University Medical Group (CUMG) and Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC). These places honor the decisions we make about financial assistance.
  • University of Washington Physicians (UWP) and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) also honor the decisions we make about financial assistance when services are provided at Seattle Children’s.
  • If you make a payment for services that qualify for financial assistance and are later found to qualify for financial assistance, you will receive a refund within 30 days of receiving the approval letter for any payments made in the prior 90 days.

Turning In an Appeal

  • If you are denied we will tell you why and we will give you information about turning in an appeal or asking us to reconsider our decision.
  • Appeals should give more information about income, family size, expenses and financial issues and be turned in within 30 days of getting the letter about being denied.
  • Appeals can be emailed to suzanne.v@seattlechildrens.org or you can call 206-987-5778, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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