(KMOV.com) – Barnes-Jewish Hospital is now asking those who do not have insurance to pay for hospital visits.
Experts told News 4 large hospitals are seeing more patients near the poverty line come in without private insurance or Medicaid. Many hospitals were hoping Medicaid would be expanded in Missouri as part of the Affordable Care Act, but the Missouri legislature has refused to do so.
Robert Fruend with the St. Louis Regional Health Commission said the changes are affecting hospitals bottom line.
"Health care providers are getting less. You can't expect providers to do the same with less and the first impacted are those that serve low income and those who can't pay," Freund said.
Many patients told News 4 the co-pay being charged is around $40. Fruend said rural areas, where there is a high concentration of uninsured people, will also be heavily impacted.
Barnes released a statement saying patients will still receive medical care even if they cannot afford the copay.