By Barbara Truitt,
Did you know you can use SHCHD’s Voucher Program to get credit equal to the amount of all the SHCHD parcel taxes you pay, and you can use that credit to pay for services you, your family, or your tenants receive at our clinic, ER, and other departments?
Too good to be true?
When taxpayers use their vouchers to offset costs of our services, we all benefit. Taxpayers, their family members who live with them, or their renters save money; and the District saves money, too.
Doctors, technicians, and other staff need to be there whether we have few patients or many. We also need to keep the lights on and pay for insurance and other fixed costs regardless of the volume of services we provide. The more patients we have, the more economical it is to provide services to all.
Can renter’s benefit, too?
Taxpayers have the option of allowing their renters to use the voucher credits. Since owners of rental properties may live out of our area or have full insurance coverage on themselves and their family members, this option can be a true win-win.
It’s easier than you think!
If you are a property owner, just bring a copy of the parcel tax bill and your state-issued ID (a driver’s license, DMV ID, or passport) to apply for the credit.
If you are a renter, bring written permission from the owner to use the credit along with a copy of the parcel tax bill and your state-issued ID (a driver’s license, DMV ID, or passport) to apply for the credit.
If you prefer, you can make copies of these documents and mail them to us. (We recommend against emailing these documents due to security concerns.) Once qualified, a record of your voucher credit balance will remain on our books until it is used in full or until it expires on June 30th of the year following the tax year for which it was issued. That is, your voucher credit for this tax year ending June 30, 2018 will expire on June 30, 2019.
But, wait. There’s more…
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 tax year begins, through September 30th of the following year, three months after the end of each tax year. For example, you can apply for a voucher for this year’s tax (7/1/18-6/30/19) until September 30, 2019.
You can use the voucher credit to help pay down existing balances, or you can use the credit 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.
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 can be used by property owners, their family members who reside with them, or renters of the property on which the tax was paid, 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.
We at the Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District are dedicated to providing the best services at the lowest cost we can, and you can help us by using all the services we provide for your healthcare needs. For more information about the Voucher Program, or any other District issues such as progress on implementing our new CT scanner, the upcoming parcel tax Measure F, phone us at 707-923-3921.
Barbara Truitt, Former Foundation Director and Outreach Dept, Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District