Hospital systems have recently stopped giving those without insurance care in hopes to push people to sign up for health care.
Those who advocate for the uninsured are troubled, according to NY Times. These advocates say that raising fees will make people not seek care if they are sick rather than make them purchase something that they consider unaffordable.
Hospitals that have quit free healthcare are still limited, but many are saying that they plan to do so. Experts predict that policies will become even stricter.
According to Kaiser Health News, many hospitals have seen a reduction in the number of uninsured patients because of the new available coverage.
The new healthcare law reduces aid to hospitals that treat large numbers of uninsured people. This requires hospitals to restrict the number of people that they treat for free.
Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis has started charging every uninsured person a co-pay, no matter how poor they are. The Southern New Hampshire Medical Center no longer provides free medical care for anyone above the federal poverty line of $11,670 and at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Vermont they have reduced financial aid to those who are uninsured and make between twice and four times the poverty level.
By tightening the availability for free care, hospital officials say that they hope those who are eligible will sign up for the affordable healthcare under the law.