How can I strengthen my case for medical financial aid?
August 8, 2012 9:51 AM Subscribe
How can I strengthen my case for medical financial aid? (Long snowflake story within.)
posted by wintersonata9 to Work & Money (4 answers total)
I'm female, living in California, and 23 years old.
I have $1000+ in medical bills from as early as September 2011, all past due. I have health insurance through my mom thanks to Obamacare, but I'm 23 and financially independent. I called the medical foundation in May to ask for financial aid.
I sent in what they asked for: last year's tax return, most recent pay stubs, most recent bank statements, and their one-page financial application. It doesn't ask for how much I pay for rent/utilities/student loans... it just asks for how much I make, which is currently about $10/hr. Last year I had a much better job, making $16+/hr, and the tax return reflects that.
Anyway, I sent it all in, and after several months and several more requests for documents like statements from my savings account, I was denied financial aid. The reason on the letter I received was "Income exceeds guidelines."
I called the medical foundation's customer service again. (The department/office that handles financial aid has no phone number listed, and the customer service office has no way of getting in contact with them. Believe me, I've tried.) I asked what these "guidelines" were, and was told that the cutoff for giving financial aid was if I made more than $21,000/yr. Which I don't, currently. I explained to her that I was making much better money last year, but right now I definitely don't make more than $21k. She was sympathetic and said that she noticed that my mom is still listed as the guarantor on my account. I asked her to change it so that I'm listed as my own guarantor, which she did. She then sent me another financial aid application so I could re-apply.
So what should I do differently this time around? I already plan on including a cover letter explaining everything that seems to have been misunderstood last time, including the fact that I'm financially responsible for myself.
Thanks for your help.