Understanding Hospital Bills and Health Insurance Claims
Advocate's mission is to provide quality and compassionate health care to our patients and their families. We understand that hospital bills and insurance claims can be confusing. We want to help you understand what Advocate will do to assist you, how you can assist us and your health plan, and how we can help you with your application for qualifying for government or financial assistance programs.
View our brochure - "Understanding Billing and Financial Assistance"
Bills and Statements
- Bill your health insurance plan on your behalf. If you have more than one health plan, we will bill the other carriers.
- Send easy-to-read statements showing the most current balance owed by your health plan or due from you. A statement will be sent showing the amount your health plan has paid and the remaining balance owed.
- Provide 24-hour access to your account through our online Patient Account manager and through our automated telephone system, which can be reached at (630) 645-2400.
- Provide access to a financial counselor to answer billing questions or assistance with payment issues. Counselors can assist you with questions concerning insurance benefits, hospital charges, payment options and applying for financial assistance programs.
- Provide access to a financial counselor who will help you determine if you qualify for Advocate's own financial assistance program, which can help uninsured and underinsured patients earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level with discounts from 60 – 100 percent of their bill.
- Provide access to a hospital associate who speaks your language. If we can not provide a financial counselor who speaks your language on your request, we will arrange for translation assistance.
- Treat you with dignity and respect, regardless of your ability to pay.
Your Help is needed to –
Information about Billing Your Insurance
- Provide us with complete health insurance information upon registration, including insurance ID cards, driver's license, picture ID and any changes to your personal or insurance information.
- Provide information about possible third party, accident or automobile insurance payments, if your hospitalization results from an accident for which a third party is responsible. Please provide any information and other assistance requested to permit these resources to be used to pay your bill, as appropriate.
- Comply with any requirements of your health insurance plan, including obtaining proper authorizations for service, second opinions, submitting referral or claims forms, or completing a coordination of benefits form.
- Respond promptly to requests from your health plan. Sometimes your health plan needs a response from you to resolve issues relating to your insurance coverage. If your health plan has not made payment within a reasonable period of time (usually 60 days after billing) and has not responded to our attempts to resolve payment matters on your behalf, the balance owed may become your responsibility.
Questions About Your Bill
- Call us if you have any questions or concerns about your bill. The number on the bill you are inquiring about is the best number to call. Your physician may have ordered tests or procedures your health plan does not cover. In these cases, check your health policy plan handbook, or call the number on your insurance card for more information.
- Payment of your hospital bill is ultimately your responsibility, with the exception of approved Medicare, Medicaid, CHAMPUS, worker's compensation and HMO services. Pay your portion of the bill on a timely manner. For your convenience Advocate Health care accepts cash, personal check, debit card, money orders, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Interest free extended payment options are also available.
- Let us know if you anticipate problems paying your bill. As a faith-based organization, we are happy to assist those in need. A financial counselor can discuss payment alternatives that may be available to you, including extended payments, government programs (such as Illinois Medicaid, Kid Care, Family Care, or Crime Victims), or financial assistance. To apply for government and hospital financial assistance programs, certain personal and financial information is required. To reach a financial counselor, send us an email or call (630) 645-2400.
- Provide information about possible third party, accident or automobile insurance payments, if your hospitalization results from an accident for which a third party bears responsibility. Please provide any information and other assistance requested to permit these resources to be used to pay your bill, as appropriate.
Note: Advocate's hospital bills do not include fees for any physician or surgeon services. If your treatment includes the services of a radiologist, pathologist, anesthesiologist, or other physician specialist, you will receive a separate bill from these physicians. If you receive services in an Advocate hospital's Emergency Department, Heart Station, Sleep Lab, Pain Clinic, or Nuclear Medicine, Neuroscience, or Respiratory Care department, you will also receive a separate bill for the physician services in these areas. If you have questions regarding any of your physician bills, call the telephone number printed on the physician's bill.