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(210 ILCS 88/30)
Pursuing collection action.
(a) Hospitals and their agents may pursue collection action against an uninsured patient only if the following conditions are met:
(1) The hospital has given the uninsured patient
(A) assess the accuracy of the bill;
(B) apply for financial assistance under the
hospital's financial assistance policy; and
(C) avail themselves of a reasonable
(2) If the uninsured patient has indicated an
inability to pay the full amount of the debt in one payment, the hospital has offered the patient a reasonable payment plan. The hospital may require the uninsured patient to provide reasonable verification of his or her inability to pay the full amount of the debt in one payment.
(3) To the extent the hospital provides financial
assistance and the circumstances of the uninsured patient suggest the potential for eligibility for charity care, the uninsured patient has been given at least 60 days following the date of discharge or receipt of outpatient care to submit an application for financial assistance.
(4) If the uninsured patient has agreed to a
reasonable payment plan with the hospital, and the patient has failed to make payments in accordance with that reasonable payment plan.
(5) If the uninsured patient informs the hospital
that he or she has applied for health care coverage under Medicaid, Kidcare, or other government-sponsored health care program (and there is a reasonable basis to believe that the patient will qualify for such program) but the patient's application is denied.
(a-5) A hospital shall proactively offer information on charity care options available to uninsured patients, regardless of their immigration status or residency.
(b) A hospital may not refer a bill, or portion thereof, to a collection agency or attorney for collection action against the insured patient, without first offering the patient the opportunity to request a reasonable payment plan for the amount personally owed by the patient. Such an opportunity shall be made available for the 30 days following the date of the initial bill. If the insured patient requests a reasonable payment plan, but fails to agree to a plan within 30 days of the request, the hospital may proceed with collection action against the patient.
(c) No collection agency, law firm, or individual may initiate legal action for non-payment of a hospital bill against a patient without the written approval of an authorized hospital employee who reasonably believes that the conditions for pursuing collection action under this Section have been met.
(d) Nothing in this Section prohibits a hospital from engaging an outside third party agency, firm, or individual to manage the process of implementing the hospital's financial assistance and reasonable payment plan programs and policies so long as such agency, firm, or individual is contractually bound to comply with the terms of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 102-504, eff. 12-1-21