Free or Reduced Fee Care

Grace Cottage provides care to all, regardless of ability to pay. Emergency room services will not be declined because you cannot pay. Necessary medical care will not be declined because you are unable to pay. Financial assistance is available to eligible patients. A summary of the policy is listed below. For full details, see our complete Reduced Fee Care Policy.

How Can I Qualify for Financial Assistance?

Anyone living in our service area that meets the income limits is eligible for free or discounted necessary medical care.

The Grace Cottage Service Area includes the following Vermont towns: Athens. Bellows Falls. Bondville. Brattleboro. Brookline. Cambridgeport. Chester. Dover. Dummerston. Grafton. Guilford. Jamaica. Londonderry. Manchester. Marlboro. Newfane. Peru. Putney. Saxtons River. Stratton. Townshend. Vernon. Wardsboro. Westminster. Wilmington. Windham.

Anyone living outside of our service area is eligible for free or discounted care on emergency services only.

Eligibility is determined by financial need. Patients with or without insurance may be eligible. Grace Cottage does not discriminate based on age, gender, race, social or immigrant status, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs.

If you feel you will not qualify for financial assistance, please know there are many factors considered. At times, a case-by-case review is done to determine eligibility.

 A list of providers covered by this policy is available here. 

What Services are Not Covered?

 The following services are not eligible for this benefit:

  • Non-emergent services denied by your insurance company because:
    • We are out of their network
    • The patient did not complete the requirements of the insurance company
    • Patient did not get mandatory prior authorization
  • Non-emergent services to patients residing outside the service area, which is defined as:
  • Non-emergent services to a patient who may be eligible for Medicaid benefits in the state that they live but refuse to apply
  • Liability cases where a lien has been filed
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic
  • Insurance company sent the payment to the patient, but the patient has not sent the payment in full to Grace Cottage
  • Medical care for a job
  • Medical care for an insurance company
  • Medical care for administrative reasons
  • Medical care for liability reasons
  • Medical care for a work-related injury
  • Allergy Serum
  • Birth control devices
  • Durable Medical Equipment

The following entities, third parties, and providers are not covered by the Grace Cottage Financial Assistance Program:

  • Messenger Valley Pharmacy
  • Rescue Inc. Ambulance
  • Kerr Ambulance
  • Golden Cross Ambulance
  • DHART- Emergency Transport Services
  • Fletcher Allen Healthcare
  • State of Vermont
  • David Liebow, DPM

How Do I Apply?

You can apply for financial assistance at any point before, during, or after your care. You must apply within 240 days of your first billing statement. To apply, complete a Free or Reduced Fee Care Application. Submit the form and required financial items to:

Patient Account Specialist
Grace Cottage
P.O. Box 216
Townshend, VT 05353

If approved, you will receive a letter within 30 days after your complete application is received.

 I need help with my application. Who can I call?

For help completing the Reduced Fee/Free Care Application, contact the Grace Cottage Resource Advocate. You can schedule a free appointment by calling 802-365-3770.

If I Qualify, What Will I Pay?

The amount of financial assistance given is based on where your household income falls on the sliding scale. The sliding scale is based on the current federal poverty guidelines (FPGL). For household income at 140% of the FPGL or below free care will be given. Discounted care is given to patients whose household income is between 141% and 300% of the FPGL.

The table below summarizes the amount given to eligible patients based on the FPGL.

FPGL DISCOUNT
Up to 140% 100%
141%-180% 80%
181%-220% 60%
221%-260% 40%
261%-300% 24%

We do not charge patients who are eligible for financial assistance any more than a patient who has insurance. Eligible patients will be charged no more than the amount generally billed (or AGB) to patients with insurance. The AGB is determined at least annually. The AGB is based on the allowed amount for services in the previous 12 months by Medicare and all Commercial insurance plans. Our AGB is currently 76%. More information about the AGB is available upon request.

Patients whose family income exceeds 300% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines may be eligible to receive discounted rates on a case-by-case basis based on their specific circumstances, such as catastrophic illness or medical indigence.

I have questions about the application process. Who can I call?

If you have any questions about the application process, please call Verna Joslyn, Patient Account Specialist, at 802-365-3647 or email FinanceQuestions@gracecottage.org.

Please do not send any financial documents via email. The privacy and security of email cannot be guaranteed.