Patient Portal

Patient Financial Services

The Patient Financial Services Department staff helps uninsured and underinsured people access affordable healthcare. This department is designed to help people access health insurance by offering assistance with application and enrollment into government-sponsored programs such as Commonwealth Care and MassHealth, as well as the Medical Security Program.

Those who are not eligible for those programs may be eligible for full or partial free care for hospital services under the Massachusetts Health Safety Net Fund (HSN).

The financial counselors are available at Heywood Hospital in Gardner and Athol Hospital located in Athol. The Heywood site serves Ashburnham, Gardner, Hubbardston, Templeton, Westminster and Winchendon. The Athol site serves Athol, Orange, New Salem, Phillipston, Royalston, Wendell, Warwick, Petersham and Erving.

What is Health Care Reform?

Massachusetts law now requires all residents over 18 years old to have health insurance or face penalties. Health Care Reform makes healthcare coverage available to all residents of Massachusetts. It is real health insurance that includes inpatient & outpatient services and prescription drug coverage at affordable rates. In addition to the expansion of MassHealth programs, new health plans are offered by Commonwealth Care. Health Care Reform is complex and many options are available through these programs.

What are the benefits of having health insurance?

You will have access to:

  • Your own Primary Care Physician (family doctor)
  • Preventative care
  • Care when you are sick or injured
  • Prescriptions at your local pharmacy
  • Mental health and substance abuse treatment
  • Eye examinations
  • Dental care (available to some members only)

How do I Apply?

Based on family size and income, Massachusetts residents may be eligible for one of these programs. A single application is used to determine eligibility for all programs. Patient Financial Services is your local resource for help with navigating the new health insurance system. From start to finish, Patient Financial Services will assist you with application and enrollment. Patient Financial Services will complete the application with you electronically so you will have a faster determination.

You will need to bring the following verification to your appointment:

  • a current picture ID with a copy of your birth certificate, or a current U.S. Passport 


  • all family income, earned and unearned (examples of unearned income are unemployment benefits and child support)

What is Commonwealth Care?

Commonwealth Care is the state’s newest insurance program. It is administered by the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority (the Connector), and is bringing healthcare coverage to thousands of eligible Massachusetts residents who were previously uninsured.

What health plans are available through Commonwealth Care?

Commonwealth Care plans are offered by:

  • Boston Medical Center Health Net Plan 
  • CeltiCare 
  • Fallon Community Health Plan 
  • Neighborhood Health Plan 
  • Network Health Forward

The Health Safety Net Fund

Formerly known as the Uncompensated Care Pool, the Health Safety Net (HSN) is a fund set up to help pay for health services at hospitals and community health centers for certain low income uninsured and underinsured Massachusetts residents who do not qualify for MassHealth or Commonwealth Care.

What if my income is too high to be eligible? 

For individuals and families whose incomes are too high for the fully or partially subsidized Commonwealth Care, the Connector offers private health insurance options through Commonwealth Choice. Commonwealth Choice plans are offered by:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts 
  • Fallon Community Health Plan 
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care 
  • Health New England 
  • Neighborhood Health Plan 
  • Tufts Health Plan

Based on costs and benefits, Commonwealth Choice insurer’s plans are grouped into categories. From most expensive to least expensive, the categories are Gold, Silver, Bronze and Young Adult Plan. Detailed information on Commonwealth Choice can be found at

Patient Financial Services Office Hours

Monday – Friday
9 AM – 5 PM
Appointments Recommended

Gardner Site

Heywood Hospital
242 Green Street, Gardner, MA 01440
(978) 630-6562
(978) 630-6550

If you live or work in the shaded areas, please come to the Heywood Hospital Office of Patient Financial Services.


Patient Financial Services Receives Financial Support From

Heywood Hospital
Massachusetts Executive Offices of Health and Human Services