You are currently viewing Up-Front Collections of Co-Pays to Begin April 1 at Hospital & Clinics

Up-Front Collections of Co-Pays to Begin April 1 at Hospital & Clinics

Beginning April 1, Veterans Memorial Hospital and Clinics will begin to collect the co-pay from patients at the time of their appointments.  This will only apply to patients who have a health insurance plan that includes a co-pay option.  Patients are encouraged to review their health plans to know if their plan has a co-pay option or not.

“Most all health care facilities have been requiring payment of co-pays at the time of services for many years, so it is time for us to make this change as well,” explains Michael Coyle, Hospital CEO.  “This will streamline our billing process and will actually make the billing more understandable for our patients.    We are just trying to get the word out that this will begin April 1 so everyone is aware and has a chance to review their health insurance plans before their next visit.”

Hospital and Clinic receptionists will be accepting cash, check, credit card and debit card for these co-pay payments.  Typically the departments that may fall under a co-pay includes clinic visits, appointments with a specialists (such as a podiatrist), and rehabilitation sessions.   These co-pay amounts have been set for the patient by the insurance company.

“It’s so important that patients take the time to review their health insurance plan closely to see what their benefits truly are and if they have a co-pay for certain services.  If they don’t have a co-pay on their plan, then they will be billed as normal and will not need to pay the day of service,” explains Denise Wullner, Business Office Supervisor.  “We are finding that many patients are being confused by commercials and the word advantage in their health insurance plan.”

The billing department at Veterans Memorial Hospital also asks that anytime anyone receives a new insurance card or changes insurance plans, to be sure to share that with them at the next appointment.

“Typically patients may change to a new health insurance plan and insurance companies issue new cards at the first of the year or at the time of a life-changing event.  We ask that you share those new cards with us at your next appointment so we can bill correctly the first time,” adds Wullner.  “Always remember, ‘new year, new insurance’ and be sure to share the details with us.  Your new plan may not cover the same as your previous insurance and it would be good to review that before care is needed.”

Wullner also advises, “Buy your plans from a reputable agent who you can go back to and discuss your plan with and get your questions answered.  Review your plan benefits and always read the fine print.”

Veterans Memorial Hospital and Clinics has also added a Financial Counselor to meet with patients to discuss their medical bills and payment options.   This person can assist with the following:

  • Answer questions regarding patient bills and what insurance paid or didn’t pay.
  • Help patients who have no insurance apply for Iowa Medicaid
  • Prepare Good Faith Estimates for patients who do not have insurance or patients who have insurance, but do not want to send into their insurance to obtain an idea on how much a visit/procedure would cost.
  • Fill out a Financial Assistance Application and help explain what all documents are needed to make a decision to see if they qualify for assistance.

Again, up-front co-payments will be required at all appointments at Veterans Memorial Hospital and Clinics beginning April 1.   For questions, please call the hospital at 563-568-3411.