Reader needs X-rays, blood work on low income


x-raysJoe V. asks the Help Finder where to go for X-rays and blood work on annual gross earnings of $14,000 a year.  He says he is single and living with family.

Dear Joe: The Summit County Health District suggests looking into the federally mandated Hospital Care Assurance Program (HCAP), which you can learn more about on

In addition to some free HCAP services for those who are eligible, not-for-profit hospitals also offer discounts or “charity care” to low-income uninsured or under-insured people.  Discounted services often extend to families with income up to 400% of the federal poverty level.  You should ask a financial aid representative at your hospital to find out what’s available and whether you qualify.

It’s important to note that HCAP covers medically necessary X-rays and blood tests to those who are eligible.  However, the coverage does not include doctor bills except in cases where doctors waive the fees.

Typically, no applications are approved until services are rendered.  However, you can call a local hospital and ask for an application.  By speaking with a financial assistance representative, you should get a good idea of whether you qualify and the extent of the break you’re likely to receive.  The application process starts after a service is rendered, and a hospital representative can help you fill out an application for HCAP if you would like such assistance.  You will need to supply proof of your income.

Another option for blood tests is the Pioneer Physicians Network.

Pioneer offers uninsured patients reduced-price services at four draw sites. Payment is due at time of services. Blood tests are available at Columbia Woods Medical Group in Norton, Hearthstone Family Practice in Uniontown, Northeast Family Healthcare in Tallmadge, and the South Main Street Medical Center location in Portage Lakes/Green. Patients may call to schedule appointments for lab orders at any of these sites. A draw fee of $5.00 will be charged. Click here for a fee schedule.



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Because healthcare information changes rapidly, you should always verify information with your providers.