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Hill-Burton Just Fine Before Obamacare

If you are a family of four with an income of $18,100 or less, you qualify for free or reduced-cost hospital care under the Hill-Burton Federal Program.

That’s because in 1946, Congress passed the Hill-Burton Law, which gives hospitals and other health facilities money for construction and modernization.

In return, the facilities that receive these funds have to:

  • Provide a reasonable volume of services to persons unable to pay.
  • Make their services available to all persons residing in the facility’s area.

Many hospitals, nursing homes, and free clinics operate under this act, and must give health care to people who can’t afford it.

These Hill-Burton assisted facilities must post a sign that says, “NOTICE: Medical Care for Those Who Cannot Afford to Pay” in the health facility’s Admission Office, Business Office and Emergency Room.

Who Can Get Hill-Burton Hospital Assistance

You may qualify if your income falls within federal poverty guidelines.

You may also qualify at some facilities if your income is double the poverty guidelines or triple the guidelines for nursing homes.

When Can You Apply

At any time before you receive care.

You can even apply after a bill has been sent to a collection agency.

Where Can You Get It

At Hill-Burton assisted facilities including hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, etc.

Apply at the facility’s Admission Office or Business Office.

How Can You Get Hill-Burton Hospital Assistance

You should contact the admissions, business or patient accounts office at the Hill-Burton obligated facility to find out whether you qualify for assistance, and whether or not the facility provides the specific services needed.

For additional information or locations of facilities in your geographic area, go here.

Author’s Info:  Tonza Borden is a 20-year finance and digital marketing expert with a passion for coaching and training. She is also an advocate for people with disabilities and the working poor. Visit her website at for exclusive community resources and strategies for your financial future.


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