By Julia Minton,
In case we haven’t said it enough, thank you SoHum for renewing the parcel tax that supports our Community Healthcare District!
The final election results show that Measure F passed with over 75%. I can’t help but think to myself, how often do 75% of any community’s voters agree on anything?! But that’s just what we did: over 75% of our voting neighbors chose to continue supporting Healthcare District services for the next 10 years.
Reducing your costs
Cost-savings programs, including our $125 parcel tax voucher credit, can make services more affordable for you and your family
Just as you continue to be there for us, we will continue to be there for you. Your support for our Critical Access Hospital not only maintains current healthcare programs; it also supports us as we navigate the regulatory and compliance hurdles we face in planning for SoHum’s healthcare service needs in 2030 and beyond. And SHCHD’s cost-savings programs, including our $125 parcel tax voucher credit, can make these services more affordable for you and your family.
Since the Voucher Program’s inception about three years ago, we’ve seen an uptick in patients’ using voucher discounts of about 50% a year. We’re encouraged to see this increase, and we hope it continues to grow.
I’ve been a renter my whole life. I figured the voucher program wasn’t relevant to me as I don’t pay property taxes. Then one day my landlord emailed me to say they recently received their property tax statement, and they wanted to let me know that I had their permission to utilize the $125 voucher discount associated with the property I rent. They have full insurance coverage for their medical costs, and as they pointed out, the cost of property taxes is rolled into the cost of my rent.
After a phone call to SHCHD’s Patient Financial Services, I learned that all I had to do to utilize the $125 voucher as a renter was to provide a copy of my landlord’s property tax bill and a note from them authorizing me to use it. I also made sure to let the registration clerk know I wanted to use it when I was making my appointment.
Applying your credits
You can use the voucher credit to help pay down existing balances, or you can use it to offset deductibles and copays. For example, if you have an outstanding balance of $50, you can pay that with your voucher and then use the remaining $75 to pay copays or deductibles.
You can use the voucher credit to help pay down existing balances, or you can use it to offset deductibles and copays
Voucher discounts can be applied toward any number of our services, whether you want to come in for a checkup at the Clinic, for bloodwork in our Laboratory, an Xray, mammogram, or soon-to-come CT scan from Radiology, or even an unexpected late-night trip to the Emergency Department.
Using last year’s tax credit
The tax year runs from July 1 to June 30 of the following year, and you can apply for the voucher credit from July 1, the day that a tax year begins, through September 30th of the following year, three months after the end of each tax year. For example, you can still apply for a voucher for last year’s tax period (7/1/17-6/30/18) until the end of this month, or for the current tax until September 30, 2019.
And, yes, some limitations apply
Credits can be used to pay deductibles, copays, and uninsured patient-related costs, but they cannot be used for payment of claims that should be filed with an insurance company, MediCal, Medicare or any other third-party claims. Credits may be used by property owners, their family members who reside with them, or renters of the property on which the tax is collected, but they cannot be given away to other relatives, friends, or neighbors. No refunds will be given for voucher credits, and the credits have no actual cash value.
Other cost-saving programs
For some who have no insurance or have high deductible plans, getting these exams can be costly. We at SHCHD don’t want cost to prevent you from obtaining the care you deserve, so we’ve developed programs to help reduce these costs.
- Quick-pay discount: Uninsured patients can obtain a 20% discount for paying at time of service or within 30 days of their first billing statement date.
- Special payment plans: Low-income uninsured individuals and families can apply for extended, interest-free payment plans of no more than 10% of their monthly net incomes after essential living expenses.
Information & Appointments
To learn more about your eligibility for SHCHD’s Voucher Program, cost-saving programs, or any other patient billing inquiries, call our Patient Financial Services Manager Jennifer Melvoen at 707-923-3921, ext 293.
To schedule an exam, call the appointments desk at Southern Humboldt Community Clinic at 707-923-3921, extension 221.
Don’t wait until you have pressing health concerns. Join us now in practicing wellness.
Julia Minton, Outreach Manager & Foundation Director