Portage Health is committed to improving the health of our community. To continue in this mission, it is essential that payment be received for services provided.
As a courtesy to our patients and their families, Portage will submit your bill to your insurance company according to the listed guidelines. To do this efficiently, it is important that accurate and complete insurance information be presented at the time of registration.
The following are answers to frequently asked questions about billing and payment for healthcare services at Portage:
A: A deductible is the annual amount a patient must pay for medical services (excluding premiums) before the insurance plan begins covering costs.
A: A co-pay, or co-payment, is the fixed dollar amount a patient must pay for each visit to a doctor’s office. The co-pay amount is set by the patient's insurance plan.
A: Co-insurance is a co-sharing agreement between the insured and the insurer under a health insurance policy which provides that the insured will cover a set percentage of the covered costs after the deductible has been paid. Similar to co-pay insurance plans except co-pays require the insured to pay a set dollar amount at the time the service is rendered.
A: For cost estimates for the procedures we offer, please call our patient advocate at (906) 483-1100 or (800) 573-5001 (toll-free).
A: If Portage participates with your health plan, that means that the hospital has an agreement with your insurance company to provide services for its members. Please take a look at our list of participating insurance providers. Please check with your insurance carrier to verify that it will cover services at the hospital, physician practice and care providers you plan to visit.
A: Depending on your insurance plan, you may be required to contact your primary care physician or health plan for approval prior to receiving services. If your situation is truly an emergency (life-threatening), you or a family member must contact your physician or health plan within 24 hours of receiving treatment. If you do not obtain health plan approval, all hospital charges may become your responsibility. While insurance companies cover Emergency Room charges for true emergencies (life-threatening situations) and many outpatient services, coverage differs. Your insurance company may require you to pay for emergency and urgent care services determined to be non-emergency (non-life-threatening).
A: If Portage Health does not participate with your health plan, you may still receive services at Portage Health. However, you should know these services are considered out-of-network and may not be covered. You are responsible for paying the bill in full or for any balance not paid by your health plan. As a courtesy, we initially bill non-participating health plans. You are responsible for payment, however, if the plan does not promptly respond to the claim.
A: Click here to see the full list of participating insurance providers.
A: Portage Health will directly bill your insurance company and send you a statement after receiving the plan’s determination of the amount covered. Depending upon the services provided, if your insurance plan requires payment of a co-pay and/or deductible, you may be requested to pay this amount at the time of service. Immediate payment enables Portage Health to contain billing costs. If your insurance company has not responded to the claim within 45 days, you are responsible for assisting in obtaining payment from the insurance company.
A: As most physicians, radiologists, pathologists, anesthesiologists and emergency room physicians are not employed by Portage Health, you (or your insurance company) may receive a separate bill for physician services. This separate physician billing practice is customary.
A: Portage Health offers several ways for you to save on your medical expenses, including a prompt pay discount and a self-pay discount. We can help you set up a reasonable payment plan if you can't pay your bill all at once and we also offer a Financial Assistance Program to assist individuals who are uninsured for medically necessary healthcare services.
A: Portage Health is required by the United States government to provide Medicare and CHAMPVA patients with specific information regarding their patient rights. If you have not received this information during your current hospital stay, please ask to speak to your unit’s Care Manager or call (269) 226-8311 (check for accuracy).
A: Patients may pay by check, money order, cash or credit card. If you cannot pay your bill in full at the time of service or at the receipt of your first bill, patient financial counselors are available to assist with billing questions and provide information regarding other possible payment options from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. For more information, please call (906) 483-1100 or (800) 573-5001 (toll-free).
A: While your insurance provider may state that you are not responsible for these charges, Portage Health does not recognize reasonable and customary or usual and customary fees as a discount. Many charges may vary from one payor to another. Some charges are higher and some are lower. None of these factors justify charge reduction. Therefore, you are responsible for these charges.
A: We regret the delay and any inconvenience the delay has caused. Portage Health must first work with various insurances to process claims and receive their payments before billing patients for the remainder of the balance.
A: Portage Health submits bills to insurance companies according to the listed guidelines. After receiving the plan’s determination of the amount to be covered, we send statements to patients. Depending upon the services provided or if the insurance plan requires payment of a co-pay and/or deductible, patients may be requested to pay this amount at the time of service. Immediate payment enables us to contain billing costs. If your insurance company has not responded to the claim within 45 days, you are responsible for assisting in obtaining payment from the insurance company.
A: You can request an itemization of your account by calling (906) 483-1100 or (800) 573-5001 (toll-free). When talking with a representative, you will need to verify your name, account number, address and daytime telephone number. Your itemized statement will then be printed and mailed to you within 48 hours.
A: Your statement may have been sent just prior to your payment, or we may have not processed your payment before your statement was sent. If you have recently sent in payment for the account listed on the billing statement, please disregard the statement.
Do you have a question that we have not answered here? Please call our Billing Department at (906) 483-1100 or (800) 573-5001 (toll-free).
500 Campus DriveHancock, MI 49930(906) 483-1000
921 W. Sharon AvenueHoughton, MI 49931(906) 483-1777
945 Ninth StreetLake Linden, MI 49945(906) 483-1030
751 S. Seventh StreetOntonagon, MI 49953(906) 884-4120
600 MacInnes DriveHoughton, MI 49931(906) 483-1860