Hudson Headwaters Health Network has slashed charges for patients who receive financial relief through its Sliding Fee program.
Previously, patients who qualified were extended discounts, paying between $10 and $53 dollars per office visit, based on income and family size. These charges have been reduced to 0 to $20 dollars.
“We think that this will make a big difference for people and families who are challenged to pay for their health care,” said John Rugge, MD, CEO of Hudson Headwaters. Rugge said that the financial relief program is available for patients even if they have health insurance, or are on disability.
“There are lots of people who have insurance and still struggle to pay for the health care they need,” Rugge said. “Over the years, we’ve been able to help thousands of people, and we’re ready to do more. These changes will help everyone who qualifies. The very neediest will no longer be charged anything for their office visits.”
Hudson Headwaters has also increased its support for the cost of the prescription medicines through its Sliding Fee program. The previous system of discounts has been replaced with a flat fee of $0 to $20 per prescription.
“Our goal is to double the number of patients who receive financial support through our Sliding Fee program,” Rugge said.
Help for a Family of Five
John and Mary Smith (not their real names) are Hudson Headwaters patients with three children ranging from grammar to high school ages. The family had health insurance through Mr. Smith’s work, but it was dropped. After the Affordable Care Act became law, the Smiths acquired health insurance again, but they’re still having trouble paying their medical bills. Now, with help from Hudson Headwaters’ Sliding Fee program, the Smiths are feeling relief.
“The Sliding Fee program is wonderful,” Mrs. Smith said. “If we need to see a doctor, we can go to our health center and know that it’s covered. Our kids can get dental cleanings and see the dentists, and we get discounts on our prescriptions.”
“We thought that getting health insurance meant that we wouldn’t be eligible to receive financial help from Hudson Headwaters,” said Mrs. Smith. “We were surprised and relieved to see that we were still eligible and that dental care is included. This helps so much with our co‐pays and deductibles.” The Smiths learned about the Sliding Fee program from a mailing Hudson Headwaters sent to its patients. “Once we got set up in the program, it’s been really easy,” Mrs. Smith said. “People who need help paying their medical bills should look into this.”
Under the terms of the program, a family of four earning $48,600 would pay $20 for an office visit and $20 for prescription medications. If that family of four earned less than $24,300, their office visits and prescription medications would be entirely underwritten by Hudson Headwaters.
Hudson Headwaters’ staff will help new or existing patients apply for the Sliding Fee program. For more information, please call 518‐824‐8640.