Understanding Our Billing Process

The health insurance billing process can be confusing. If you have additional questions after reading this information, please call our Customer Service department at 573-884-3300, and select option 2 to speak to a representative.

What is my billing responsibility?

Please provide MU Health Care with your complete health insurance information before your appointment. Upon registration, a staff member will make a copy of your insurance card(s), authorization forms and your valid photo ID or driver’s license. If you have been to MU Health Care before, please let us know if your personal information (name, address, phone number or insurance) has changed since your last visit. It is very important to keep this information current. We will work to verify your insurance coverage before you arrive and to obtain authorization or certification from your insurance plan as needed. If you have a co-pay, deductible or co-insurance, you may be asked to pay your applicable portion at arrival or checkout. If you do not have insurance, you may be asked to pay a deposit toward your bill upon arrival or checkout.

What will I be asked to sign when I arrive for care?

You or your responsible party (such as a parent) will be asked to sign admission forms. By signing these forms, you give MU Health Care permission for medical treatment, authorize the release of information to your insurance provider and accept responsibility for payment of charges. When you arrive, a service representative will review this with you. A copy is available upon request. If you have Medicare, you will also receive statements about advance directives and an “Important Message from Medicare” form.

How do I know if MU Health Care is contracted with my health plan?

Some health insurance plans require patients to receive services with an “in-network” provider. You will find the list of health insurance plans covered in MU Health Care’s network. You may also call your health insurance company and ask which providers are in-network for your plan. Be sure to verify your health insurance plan’s requirements.

What if my plan is out-of-network?

If you choose to go to an out-of-network provider and it is not for emergency care, your insurance company may pay less and you may pay more for the care you receive.  You may also have a higher co-pay, deductible, co-insurance and out-of-pocket maximum. When you have an emergency admission and you are out-of-network, your health plan will generally cover these costs or transfer you to an in-network provider if it is safe to do so.

What can I do to make sure my health insurance will pay my MU Health Care bills?

Your health insurance may require your care to be pre-certified or authorized before care is given or within a certain period of time after you are hospitalized. You can help by knowing your benefits, assuring proper authorizations for services, helping to obtain referrals or completing a coordination of benefits form as your health insurance plan may require. If you are admitted to the hospital and it is not an emergency, please review and understand the benefits provided to you by your health insurance plan or employer. If the service is an elective procedure, please talk to your health insurance provider about coverage.

Billing and payments

At registration, you may be asked to pay your co-pay or an amount due toward your deductible or co-insurance. Following your discharge, MU Health Care will bill your health insurance (such as Medicare, Medicaid or commercial insurance) as a service to you. Your health insurance will send you a summary or an explanation of benefits (EOB) summarizing the payment by your plan and your account balance. Once the payment from your health insurance is posted, MU Health Care will send your claim to your secondary insurance company (when applicable) or we will send you a bill for the amount your health insurance states that you owe. If you have Medicaid as a secondary to Medicare, we will post the Medicare payment and then bill Medicaid for the balance due. After Medicaid pays on the balance due, we appropriately resolve your balance according to federal guidelines. Please note: According to federal guidelines, Medicaid patients may be required to pay a co-pay when registering for outpatient tests or procedures or an inpatient admission.

Why did I receive two bills?

MU’s medical group, named University Physicians, bills for all physician services. MU Health Care’s hospitals (such as University Hospital or Women’s and Children’s Hospital) bill for facility charges. For example, when you have an X-ray, you will receive two bills: a University Physicians bill for the radiologist reading the film, and a hospital bill for the use of the equipment and the cost of the film.

The billing statement from University of Missouri Health Care is gold. It includes the facility charges for procedures, hospitalization and/or testing provided to you. Locations include University Hospital, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, Missouri Psychiatric Center and Missouri Orthopaedic Institute.

The billing statement from University Physicians is blue. It includes all your physician charges, including services provided to you by specialists such radiologists, pathologists, cardiologists and surgeons.

What are my payment options?

If you are unable to pay the amount you owe in full within 10 days, please let us know. You may be eligible for an extended payment plan or other financial assistance.

University of Missouri Health Care and University Physicians offer many options for bill payment, including an online option. Acceptable payment methods are cash, money order, personal check, MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express. Please do not send cash through the mail or put cash payments in our drop box locations. Learn more about bill pay options.

How do you handle workers’ compensation?

If your care is due to a workplace injury, you must file a report of injury with your employer. If it is a work-related injury, the charges may be covered by workers’ compensation. It will be your responsibility to provide us with this information. If you will not or cannot provide us appropriate billing information, your related services will be noted as self-paying. Should the claim for workers’ compensation be denied through the administrative process, then you will be responsible for service-related charges.

What if I was injured in an accident?

If you received medical services as a result of an accident, you will be required to complete an Accident and Liability form. We will also need a copy of your accident report, if available.

Federal guidelines require health care facilities to obtain accident information so that we can request payment for the medical services you received from the proper party.

How do you handle children’s accounts?

Divorce, separation and remarriage often lead to difficult questions regarding who is responsible financially. The family member who brings the child to MU Health Care for care and signs the child’s admission forms will be the person we identify as the responsible party. In Missouri, both parents are ultimately responsible for paying a child’s health care expenses.

What if I don’t have health insurance?

University of Missouri Health Care will provide emergency care to all patients, regardless of the source of payment or a patient’s ability to pay. Be assured that emergency service will never be delayed or withheld due to a patient’s ability to pay.

If you do not have health insurance, please contact a financial counselor at a phone number listed in this brochure. A financial counselor will review with you the options that may be available to you. Options may include applying for MO HealthNet, other assistance programs, extended payment plans and financial assistance consideration. Information on health insurance options for individuals and families with limited income who are not eligible for MO HealthNet can be found at www.covermissouri.org.

Services that are elective or provided for non-life threatening conditions may require payment before the scheduled procedure.

When do I pay?

You may be asked to pay at the time of service if you have a co-payment, deductible, or other self-pay amount due if you do not have health insurance coverage for your scheduled services.

Payment in full is requested within 10 days of receiving your billing statement.

For your convenience, MU Health Care accepts cash, personal checks and major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express) or money orders. You can also pay your bill online.

Interest-free extended payment plans may also be an option. For more information, please contact a Customer Service representative at 573-884-3300, and select option 2.

I have a request from my health plan. What should I do?

Please respond promptly to requests you receive from your health insurance plan. While we will attempt to provide all the information and paperwork needed, sometimes your health plan may require a response from you to resolve issues related to your account or insurance coverage.

What if I cannot pay my bill in full?

Please let us know if you do not have the financial resources to pay all or part of your bill. A financial counselor or customer service representative can discuss payment options, including a payment plan and financial assistance through MU Health Care.

If you are pregnant, under age 19, disabled or age 65 or older, you may be asked to see if are eligible for MO HealthNet (Medicaid). Please contact a financial counselor or customer service representative to apply for assistance at 573-884-3300, and select option 2.

What will a financial counselor or customer service representative do?

  • We will bill your health insurance plan on your behalf. If you have more than one health insurance plan, we will bill the additional insurance carriers.
  • You will receive regular, easy-to-read billing statements showing the amount you owe. MU Health Care will send you a statement after your health insurance plan has paid so we can notify you of any remaining balance owed.
  • You will have access to a customer service representative if you have questions about your bill, would like to set up a payment plan, or have questions about our financial assistance application.
  • You will have access to a financial counselor to help you or family members apply for MO HealthNet (Medicaid) or MU Health Care’s financial assistance program. Financial counselors can also assist you with an estimate for a scheduled visit.
  • You will have 24-hour access to your account information through your online MU Healthe account.
  • You will be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of your ability to pay.
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