Paying For Your Health Care
Understanding your responsibilities
We know that billing and payment for your health care services can be pretty overwhelming. And the last thing we want to do is add to your stress. So, we’ve laid out what you need to know and what to expect below.
The information below is designed to help you understand what West Feliciana Hospital can do to assist you, what you can do to assist the hospital and your insurance plan, and how we can help if you have difficulty paying your bills.
Authorization of services
Most health plans require authorization, particularly for elective services. It is your responsibility, with the assistance of your physician’s office staff, to obtain any pre-authorization from your health insurance company.
Failure to get the proper authorization may cause your insurance to pay at a reduced rate or to deny the claim. If your insurance company decides your service was not medically necessary, is a pre–existing condition, or is not a covered service, you will be asked to pay at the time of service.
Before you come
Prior to your hospital visit, check with your employer or insurance company to see if you have access to health care services at West Feliciana. Otherwise you may be responsible for all or a large portion of your bill. West Feliciana accepts most insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Bring your health insurance information
Bring your complete health insurance information when you register. This includes identification, all insurance cards, and authorization forms. We will ask you to sign forms, such as a release of information, and possibly additional forms, depending on your visit.
Inform us of changes
If you are a current patient, please inform the billing department if personal or insurance information has changed since your last visit. The lack of current information can cause payment delays or denials that may ultimately leave you responsible for payment.
Co–payments for hospital care and other balances are due on the day you receive services. Depending on your insurance coverage, you may need to pay for estimated coinsurance or deductibles related to your care. If you have any questions regarding your co-payments or deductibles, please call your insurance company.
Consent = financial responsibility
The person who consents to medical treatment will be financially responsible for the bill, including legal guardians of a child.
Medicare patients: what to expect
If you are a Medicare patient, you will be asked a series of questions regarding your status, including other insurance you may have and your retirement dates. These questions are required by law and must be asked each time you visit us. If you are covered by Medicare, we will submit your claims to Medicare on your behalf.
When Medicare does not cover a service
Medicare requires that hospitals provide only those services approved by Medicare as deemed medically necessary. In the event the service is not covered by Medicare, you may be asked to sign a notice that makes you financially responsible for the services provided.
Additionally, you and/or your supplemental insurance carrier will be billed for services not covered by Medicare, such as self–administered medications and routine health exams. However, if neither covers these services, you will be responsible for payment for these services.
Workers’ Compensation, auto accident, or other liability claims
Like any other insurance claim submitted, your liability insurance does require certain information on the billing form in order to pay the claim. This includes but is not limited to: insurance name and address, insurance claim agent information, accident dates, and claim numbers.
At the time of admission, you will be given a letter explaining the information that is required to bill your claim. If the information is not received by the time the bill is ready to send to your insurance company, a second request will be sent. Communication on liability claims between the patients and their Patient Account Representatives is very important. If you fail to provide all of the necessary information, you will be responsible for payment in full on the account.
After your visit
Respond promptly to requests from your insurance company for additional information. These requests must be handled before payment can occur. Failure to respond may cause your claim to be denied by your insurance company.
We bill your insurance directly
For services typically covered by insurance, your primary insurance company will be billed, and, if applicable, your secondary insurance company as a courtesy. This includes Medicare and Medicaid.
It is important to remember that health insurance coverage varies and some services may not be covered. If you have questions regarding your health insurance coverage, please call your insurance company to better understand how your policy works.
Call us with billing questions
If you have any questions about your bill, please contact our Business Office and request to speak with a Patient Account Representative Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30pm.
Who can discuss a bill
Confidentiality is important. Patient Account Representatives may only speak with the patient or the person designated in writing by the patient to receive the bill(s) on behalf of the patient. This is required by both federal and state law.
Have your statement on hand
To help answer your questions efficiently, have a copy of your statement, insurance card(s), and any additional information available.
To ensure that your account is properly credited, tear off the bottom or top portion of your bill and mail it in the envelope provided. If paying by check, write your account number on the check.
Summary of services
The first statement that you receive will be sent to you at the same time your insurance is billed. This statement provides a summary of services provided to you or your family member. If you need a more detailed breakdown of these services, contact the Patient Account Representative listed on the bottom of the statement.
Statements for unpaid balances
If your insurance company does not pay the entire bill, you will receive a statement notifying you of any remaining unpaid balances. Payments in full for all self pay balances are due within 30 days. If you are unable to pay in full, contact your Patient Account Representative.
Methods of payment
For your convenience, cash, checks, and all major credit cards are accepted for payment. Payment is due 30 days after you receive a statement.
Can’t pay a bill? We can help
If you cannot pay a bill in full, Patient Account Representatives can assist you by describing monthly payment plans and other financial assistance programs available for those patients who meet certain financial criteria. They can also refer you to government–sponsored programs.
Over payment questions
Please contact the Patient Business Services department with questions regarding over-payments. If applicable, over-payments will be applied to other outstanding balances.
If you have a question about your bill, you may contact a service representative at 225-635-3811.
You have reached the federally-required section of our website that contains the charges for the services we provide within our facility. While we provide this information to comply with federal regulations, healthcare billing is complex. It is extremely important for you, as the consumer, to understand that standard charges may not be a relevant starting point for estimating what costs you may incur during an episode of care, and the amount actually paid by a patient will depend on that patient’s insurance coverage, policy provisions, and other factors. Everyone’s case is different based on that patient’s medical condition.
The charges displayed only include hospital charges and do not include charges that are billed separately by the physician or other professional fees. Furthermore, the actual amount paid by a patient will depend on that patient’s insurance coverage, as benefit plans vary greatly.