The new landmark Illinois law, the Hospital Uninsured Patient Discount Act, became effective on April 1, 2009. Under the Act, hospitals may charge uninsured patients no more than the cost of services they received plus 35 percent. In addition, hospitals may collect no more than 25 percent of a patient's family income from an eligible uninsured patient during a 12-month period. According to the office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, on average hospitals have charged uninsured patients up to 200 percent more than the cost of services. Eligible uninsured patients include those that are within 600 percent of the Federal Poverty Level ($132,300 for a family of four in 2008) at non-rural hospitals and 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Level ($66,150 for a family of four in 2008) at rural and critical access hospitals. The ne w law will be enforced by the Attorney General. That office has also collaborated with Illinois hospitals to assist them in calculating their cost-to-charge ratios and will work to ensure that eligible patients have access to that information. For more information, please click here.