Financial Assistance

About the Financial Assistance Program

Frequently Asked Questions About the Financial Assistance Program

  • What is it?

    Seattle Children’s Financial Assistance Program (known as “Charity Care” under state and federal law) is for medically needed services. The program may be able to help even if you have insurance. It is based on family size and income.

    To qualify for full financial assistance, your family must earn a monthly income that is at or below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), depending on the size of your family. If you earn from 401% to 600% of the FPL, you may qualify for partial financial assistance.

    For more information about “Charity Care,” see Revised Code of Washington: RCW 70.170.060 and Washington Administrative Code: WAC 246-453-070.

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  • What is covered?

    Financial assistance pays for the patient balance after your bill is processed by:

    • Insurance
    • Any other funding sources, which include:
      • Other federal, state, tribal or military programs
      • Third-party insurance (from auto accidents or personal injuries)
      • Workers' compensation programs
      • Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs)
      • Faith-based cooperative sharing groups
      • 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

    Financial assistance covers professional and facility charges at any Seattle Children’s location. It also covers professional services billed by Seattle Children’s for providers who provide care at other hospitals.

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  • What is NOT covered?
    • Elective or cosmetic services
    • Genetic testing to find out if a genetic condition could be passed to future children
    • Non-urgent services when Seattle Children’s is out of network for your insurance plan
    • Healthcare services billed by organizations other than Seattle Children’s

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  • Who is eligible?

    Patients younger than 21 whose primary residence is in Washington, Alaska, Montana or Idaho and who meet income requirements.

    Patients who do not meet these criteria may be eligible for financial assistance for emergency services only. Solid organ transplant patients from Oregon and Hawaii also may qualify. We may make rare exceptions when a service is not available outside of Seattle Children’s.

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  • What about patients 21 and older?

    These patients may be eligible if they meet income requirements and one of the following:

    • Have specific conditions that are best managed by Seattle Children’s specialists and programs
    • Receive prenatal services
    • Receive care in our Emergency Department
    • Are tested to further care of a Seattle Children's patient who is younger than 21

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  • What if I don’t have insurance? Can I still apply?

    If the patient does not have insurance, call our financial counselors at 206-987-3333. Before we can process your application for financial assistance, we may have to check if the patient is eligible for Medicaid. If they qualify for Medicaid, you may have to apply for that before we can consider financial assistance.

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  • How long does it last?

    Once financial assistance is granted, it typically lasts 6 months. After it expires, you can re-apply anytime.

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  • Does Seattle Children’s require proof of income?

    Not when you first apply. As we complete the application process for either financial assistance or Medicaid, we may contact you for written proof of income or proof that a patient is not eligible for another funding source.

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  • How will I know if I’ve been approved or denied?

    The person who applied will receive a letter within 14 days after we get the application. The letter will:

    • Say if you are approved or denied, or if we need something from you before we can process your application
    • Tell you the period of time for which you qualify

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  • I was denied. Can I appeal?

    Yes. If you are denied, we will tell you why in the letter and what additional information we may need to re-process the application. We also will tell you how to turn in an appeal for us to reconsider our decision.

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