Find more information about Community Catalyst projects in North Dakota.
OVERVIEW: North Dakota has no free care requirements. However, recent legislation limits what hospitals and other medical providers can charge in terms of interest rates and finance charges for medical bills.
REGULATORY OVERSIGHT: N/A
DEFINITIONS AND DISTINCTIONS: N/A
FREE CARE AS A COMMUNITY BENEFIT: N/A
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: N/A
FINANCING SOURCE: N/A
SERVICES COVERED: N/A
NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: N/A
APPLICATION PROCESS: N/A
GRIEVANCE/APPEAL PROCESS: N/A
REPORTING REQUIREMENTS: N/A
PENALTIES FOR NONCOMPLIANCE: N/A
Limitations on medical billing and credit extensions. In 2007, the Legislature enacted SB 2210 to limit the amount of finance charges and late payment charges that medical service providers can assess for medical bills. See N.D. Cent. Code § 13-01-14.1. Under the new law, medical service providers may not charge, receive, or collect late payment charges for medical services until ninety (90) days after the patient receives a bill for services. N.D. Cent. Code § 13-01-14.1(2)(a); compare with N.D. Cent. Code § 13-01-14.1(2)(b) (prohibiting creditors of accounts for licensed nursing facilities or basic care facilities from charging late fees until forty-five (45) days after the patient receives a bill). Creditors, including non-hospital medical service providers, cannot charge more than one percent interest per month in late fees for medical services. N.D. Cent. Code § 13-01-14.1(4) and (5). Hospitals can charge only up to $25 per month in interest for late payments. Id. The law also limits the extent to which hospitals and other medical providers can charge interest for extending credit to patients for medical services, as follows:
- Medical service providers, including hospitals, cannot charge more than one percent interest per month for an extension of medical credit or any associated finance or credit service charges; and
- Hospitals are further limited to charging no more than $25 per month. Id.
Medical assistance. In the absence of any relevant free care statute, it is worth noting that the County General Assistance statutes assign counties the obligation for "county poor relief" (i.e., public assistance), subject to available funding. See N.D. Cent. Code § 50-01-01. This includes medical assistance for necessary medical services, covered medicines prescribed by a physician, and hospitalizations. N.D. Cent. Code § 50-01-13. In the absence of other options, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's website maintains a local list of free health care services and providers in North Dakota.