What is Cost Sharing?
Cost sharing is the patient balance that remains after the insurance plan has applied payment for covered services according to the benefit plan.
Deductibles, coinsurance and copayments are the member’s contribution toward all services. As a participating provider, you have agreed to not waive these amounts. When the charge for an office visit is less than the member’s copayment, providers should collect the actual charge. If you collect any amount above the copayment for covered services, you must refund the member the excess amount collected within 30 days of notification of the overpayment.
Participating providers have also pledged to assist us in our efforts to keep our members’ costs down. Please be aware that members could pay higher copayments for certain covered services performed by different types of providers and facilities. The chart below illustrates an example situation of how a member’s cost share will increase if they go to an outpatient facility for services that may be performed at an in-network physician’s office, in-network independent lab or free-standing diagnostic imaging facility:
What does it include?
Cost Sharing includes:
A fixed amount you pay for a covered health care service , to be paid when you receive the service
The amount can vary by the type of covered health care service.
$15 primary care
The amount the patient owes for healthcare services before your health insurance plan begins to pay
Deductible may not apply to all services
Deductibles are applied annually
Your share of the costs of a covered health care service, calculated as a percent of the allowed amount for the service
Co-insurance plus deductible may apply in some cases
Cost Sharing Tools
Most commercial Health Insurance carriers have cost estimators on their websites to help you estimate your out-of-pocket expense.
Calculate your estimated costs for procedures, office visits, lab tests, and surgeries.
Compare what your cost sharing will be at different providers and locations.
Medicare Cost Comparison
Medicare also provides transparency into healthcare costs on their website You can compare hospital pricing for hospital inpatient and outpatient care The annual Medicare and You booklet also provides insight into Medicare covered benefits
Visit the Medicare website: www.medicare.gov
You will receive 3 statements before balances are flagged at collect status
Statement messages indicate the aging of your statement balance
Your account is overdue; please pay this balance immediately.
Your account is in collections status; please contact the office immediately.
You will receive a separate letter from Insurance company when your balance is billed on a second and third statement.
The letter is to remind you that your account is in collect status and if the balance is not paid it will go to our outside collection agency.
Insurance company does send aged balances to a collection agency.
Insurance company has contracted with Collection Agency to help us recover unpaid patient balances.
Account balances are sent to the collection agency after you receive 3 statements and you do not make a payment.
What to Expect from the Collection Agency
Patient receives automated and live calls from the agency. Collection balance is not reported to the credit bureau until 90 days after placement with the agency.
Payments can be made directly to Agency or to Insurance company . Agency will update Insurance company records to show your payment was made and clear your balance.
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