General Questions

Listed below are questions that you may have about Advocate’s Online Patient Account Manager and the hospital billing process. To review an answer, simply click on one of the questions below.

If you have a question about your account and would like to contact a customer service associate, please send an email or call (847) 990-6351.


Online | Registration | Bills | Insurance


Online
1. How do I view my account information and manage my account online?
2. Can another family member access my online account?
3. Can I contact the hospital Patient Accounting office through e-mail?
4.Besides viewing my account and paying my bill online, what other options are available on Advocate Patient Accounting Online?
5. Do I need to enroll in order to use resources, such as the glossary, tips, etc.?
6.Will I be able to make one payment for several open patient accounts, for different visits?
7. Will I be able to view and pay my physician bills from the online account manager?
8.Do I need to establish an electronic payment method to be eligible for the online account manager?
9. What types of electronic payment methods can I use?
10.Can I print a payment stub and send it with my payment instead of paying electronically?

Registration
11.Do I have to stop at Registration every time I visit the hospital?

Bills
12.Why have I received a bill?
13.Why do I get separate bills for hospital services received on different dates?
14.Who can I talk to with questions about my bill?
15.Will you bill my insurance plan for me?
16.Will the hospital file my Worker’s Compensation claim for me?
17.Why did I receive more than one bill?
18.It has been several weeks since my hospital visit. Why haven’t I received a bill?
19.I received a hospital statement, but it shows only totals. Can I have an itemized bill?
20.How do I know that the amount you are billing me is the correct amount?

Insurance
21.I gave my insurance information to my doctor, why don’t you have it?
22.Even though I gave the hospital my medical insurance information, I was later asked for my automobile insurance because my injury was due to an automobile accident.  My medical insurance will cover the bill, why is any other insurance needed?
23.How can I check with my insurance company to make sure they will cover the services I received?
24.How do I know if my health plan will cover my hospital visit or certain services?
25.Do I need to let my health plan know that I am going to be in the hospital?
26.Why didn’t my insurance pay for some services?
27.How do I know if my insurance company will cover services provided by all professionals (e.g. anesthesiologists, radiologists, and pathologists) involved with my treatment)?
28.How will I know if my insurance company has paid my bill?
29.What do I do if I disagree with how much my insurance company has paid on my bill?
30.How will I know what portion of the bill I should pay?
31.How can I pay my portion of my bill?
32.What is a deductible or co-payment?
33.Should I pay my co-payment at the time of service?
34.What will I owe after insurance has paid?
35.What is the difference between Medicare part A and Medicare Part B?
36.Why do I have to give you information about other insurance if I have Medicare coverage?



Online
1. How do I view my account information and manage my account online?

To view your account information, you must enroll in Advocate Online Patient Account Manager by entering your account number and the patient's date of birth on the enrollment page. Creating a username and personal password for the account will ensure that only you can securely access your account information.

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2. Can another family member access my online account?

A family member can access your account only if you provide that person with your username and password. If two family members are responsible for payment of an account, then each person will have to enroll separately.

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3.
Can I contact the hospital Patient Accounting office through e-mail?

Yes, you may e-mail the Patient Accounting office 24 hours a day, seven days a week with questions by clicking on Contact Us in the left navigation of this page. A Patient Account representative will reply to your message during normal business office hours, 7:30am - 5:30pm, Monday through Friday.

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4. Besides viewing my account and paying my bill online, what other options are available on Advocate Patient Accounting Online?

In addition to viewing and paying your accounts online, the site includes other resources to help you understand and manage your healthcare billings.  With the online account manager you can:

  • View frequently asked questions (FAQ’s)
  • View tips on organizing your medical bills and downloading files
  • View our guide to appealing insurance denials
  • View our hints on shopping for health insurance
  • Access important phone numbers and web sites
  • View Advocate’s glossary of billing terms
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5.
Do I need to enroll in order to use resources, such as the glossary, tips, etc.?

No, the above resources are available to you 24 hours a day, regardless of your enrollment. Enroll only if you would like to access account information or track insurance payments

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6.
Will I be able to make one payment for several open patient accounts, for different visits?

Yes, as long as the accounts are within the same hospital, you will be able to view the billing information for each visit and pay with one payment. If you have open accounts across more than one hospital, you will need to visit each hospital's online account manager to make payments.

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7.
Will I be able to view and pay my physician bills from the online account manager?

No, only your hospital bills are available.

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8.
Do I need to establish an electronic payment method to be eligible for the online account manager?

No, you will have the option to either establish an electronic payment method, or print a payment stub on your home printer and mail it to Advocate.

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9.
What types of electronic payment methods can I use?

You can make your payment electronically via credit card, (Visa, Master Card, Discover or American Express) debit card or electronic check.

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10.
Can I print a payment stub and send it with my payment instead of paying electronically?

Yes, you have the option to print a payment stub and send it with your check or credit card information to the hospital.  Just click the 'Pay by mail' option on the 'Make Payment' page.

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Registration
11.
Do I have to stop at Registration every time I visit the hospital?

Yes, this way Advocate is able to verify your personal and insurance information for each patient visit.  An exception to this is for patients receiving certain ongoing services, including physical therapy, speech therapy, radiation therapy, etc.

Note: If your services are related to a work or accident injury, please notify us during registration.

Registration associates can provide you with directions to all of your scheduled appointments.

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Bills
12.
Why have I received a bill?

The hospital sends a bill to keep you informed about the status of your hospital account, including whether payments have been received.  To ensure that your insurance information is accurate, please review your hospital statement.

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13.
Why do I get separate bills for hospital services received on different dates?

When sending a claim to your health plan, we are required to file a separate claim for each inpatient or outpatient visit.

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14.
Who can I talk to with questions about my bill?

Customer Service Representatives are available to help you via email or over the telephone and will respond to your inquiry regarding your bill as soon as possible.   For Advocate's contact information, please select the 'Contact Us' option included on the website.

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15.
Will you bill my insurance plan for me?

Yes, Advocate will bill your health plan.  Please provide any information that your insurance company (accident information, claim forms, co-ordination of benefits information, pre-existing condition information or other health insurance information) has requested.  Insurance claims are generally paid four to six weeks after the claim is filed.

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16.
Will the hospital file my Worker’s Compensation claim for me?

Yes, Advocate will bill worker’s compensation insurance, if you provide the information at the time of registration.

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17.
Why did I receive more than one bill?

If you receive more than one bill, please review them carefully.  You may have received a bill(s) from the physician(s) who saw you at the hospital or read your test results.  Physicians send bills for their services separately from the hospital.  If you have questions about a bill you have received, please call the telephone number on the bill.

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18.
It has been several weeks since my hospital visit. Why haven’t I received a bill?

Advocate bills the health plan on file first.  Once your insurance has paid their portion, any remaining amount will be billed to your second insurance or to you.  Depending on how quickly your insurance carrier processes your claim, it may take several weeks for you to receive a bill.

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19.
I received a hospital statement, but it shows only totals. Can I have an itemized bill?

Itemized bills are available upon request.  You can request an itemized bill by selecting this option via e-mail in the Patient Account Manager.

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20.
How do I know that the amount you are billing me is the correct amount?

Once your health plan pays their portion of the bill, they will send you an explanation of benefits (EOB) to show how the claim was paid.  You can compare the EOB to the statement sent by the hospital.  How your insurance paid your claim is based on your benefits and their contract with Advocate.  If you feel your insurance should have paid a different amount, please contact them directly for resolution.

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Insurance
21.
I gave my insurance information to my doctor, why don’t you have it?

Physicians maintain their own patient information.  Also, your benefit coverage may be different for physician services than it is for hospital services.  For these reasons, physicians and the hospitals retain separate insurance information.

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22.
Even though I gave the hospital my medical insurance information, I was later asked for my automobile insurance because my injury was due to an automobile accident.  My medical insurance will cover the bill, why is any other insurance needed?

Health plans normally only pay benefits after automobile accidents or worker’s compensation insurance has paid its portion.  This is also a requirement for Medicare and Medicaid.  If we do not provide the accident insurance information at the time of billing, the claim will be delayed or may even be denied, until the information is provided.

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23.
How can I check with my insurance company to make sure they will cover the services I received?

A customer service telephone number is listed on most health plan ID cards.  Before you call, have available your insurance card, dates of service, hospital name, the original billed amount, patient name and claim number, if applicable.  Remember to write down the name of the person you speak to at the health plan.  If your claim has not been paid, ask what is needed for the claim to be paid.    Other key questions you should ask the health plan’s customer service representative include:

  • Have you received the hospital’s claim for these services?
  • Am I covered for these services?
  • When will you pay the hospital for these services?
    Note: If the bill is not paid in the stated timeframe, check with the health plan again and, if necessary, request to speak to a supervisor.
  • What portion of this claim will I be responsible for paying?
  • What is the status of the account?
    Note: If paid, ask for the date it was paid, the check number, to whom it was paid and the mailing address of the check.
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24.
How do I know if my health plan will cover my hospital visit or certain services?

Check with your health plan or your employer regarding any pre-certification requirements prior to receiving health care services as coverage varies with each plan.  The hospital staff will most likely not know whether your insurance company will cover a particular service.

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25.
Do I need to let my health plan know that I am going to be in the hospital?

Check with your health plan or your employer regarding any pre-certification requirements prior to receiving health care services.  Because coverage varies with each plan, Advocate may not know if you need prior approval for your hospital stay or outpatient services.

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26.
Why didn’t my insurance pay for some services?

Insurance policies vary on what services are covered or paid.  Your particular policy may not cover a certain service or you may not meet your policy's deductible or co-insurance requirement(s).  Advocate associates can help answer your questions, if we have received the information from your insurance company.

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27.
How do I know if my insurance company will cover services provided by all professionals (e.g. anesthesiologists, radiologists, and pathologists) involved with my treatment)?

Check with your health plan or your employer about this.  Each professional needs to contract individually with health plans and the hospital does not know if each professional is contracted with your health plan.

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28.
How will I know if my insurance company has paid my bill?

If there is a balance due from you after your health plan has paid its portion, Advocate will send you a statement.  The statement will show the amount that has been paid and any balance you are required to pay.

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29.
What do I do if I disagree with how much my insurance company has paid on my bill?

If you have questions regarding your health plans payment, contact your insurance company.  If the health plan agrees that an error was made, note the information and whom you spoke to at the health plan.  Request an expected payment date and ask if they need anything to complete processing.  If the health plan states the bill was paid correctly and you still disagree, find out from the health plan how to file an appeal.  Filing an appeal will not guarantee that the health plan will pay more on your claim, but the claim will be reviewed for reconsideration.

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30.
How will I know what portion of the bill I should pay?

The amount you owe can be found in the Account Summary section, on the left side of your statement.  If your health plan has paid part of your claim, the statement will identify the amount paid and the amount you owe.  Your health plan also indicates the amount you are responsible for on the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) form provided.

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31.
How can I pay my portion of my bill?

We offer several payment options:

  • Make an online payment using your MasterCard, VISA, American Express or debit card by selecting the online payment option as part of 'My Account'.
  • Pay by credit card using our automated phone system by calling the number on your hospital statement.
  • Mail your check or money order payable to the hospital and include your account number.  Mail the payment to the address included on your hospital statement.
  • Payments are also accepted at the cashier office at the hospital.
  • If payment in full is not possible, payment arrangements may be made by contacting an Advocate financial counselor at the number listed on your statement.
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32.
What is a deductible or co-payment?

A deductible is the amount that you must pay before your health plan begins to pay for your bills.  Typically, a deductible is a flat dollar amount ($250.00 or $500.00.)  If you have a $250.00 deductible, your health plan should pay all of the covered charges EXCEPT the first $250.00, which is your responsibility to pay.  A co-payment is a flat amount due for each visit to a provider.  A co-insurance is generally a percentage of covered charges.

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33.
Should I pay my co-payment at the time of service?

Yes, you are expected to pay your co-payment when services are provided.

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34.
What will I owe after insurance has paid?

The amount you owe can be found in the Account Summary section on the left side of your statement.  If your health plan has paid part of your claim, the statement will identify the amount paid and the amount you owe.  Your health plan also indicates the amount you are responsible for on the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) form provided.

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35.
What is the difference between Medicare part A and Medicare Part B?

Part A covers inpatient hospitalization and Part B covers outpatient and physician services.

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36.
Why do I have to give you information about other insurance if I have Medicare coverage?

Medicare requires hospitals to bill any health plan that could have responsibility for your expenses before Medicare is billed.  In fact, Medicare will not allow Advocate to file a claim for payment until the other insurer (or primary payer) has paid or denied the claim.  For example, if you were injured in a car accident, at your worksite, or on someone else's property, it is the hospital's responsibility to make sure your claims are filed appropriately to the accident insurance plan, before it is submitted to Medicare.  Consequently, Advocate needs to have information about the insurance coverage you have.

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