Many hospitals are considering whether they should continue to provide charity care to people who were eligible for Affordable Care Act subsidies to purchase health insurance but chose instead to remain uninsured.

The issue for many is whether the availability of charity care is an inducement for some people not to purchase health insurance and whether such patients are unwilling or unable to pay for care.

iStock_000001497717XSmallSome hospitals have decided not to provide non-emergency charity care to those who chose not to purchase subsidized health insurance.  Others are currently considering whether they need to revise their approach to charity care.  Still others have decided that they will not change their charity care policies.

Charity care is an especially critical issue for the nation’s private  safety-net hospitals because they serve so many more low-income and uninsured patients than the typical American hospital.

Learn more about this latest phase in the evolution of charity care and how hospitals are approaching it in this Kaiser Health News report.