Plain Language Summary of Our Billing and Financial Assistance Policy
at Palos Hospital and Palos Medical Group
What are my rights for hospital services?
As a patient at Palos, you have a right to receive medically appropriate treatment and service. Our policy is to provide quality medical health care to all persons regardless of race, creed, sex, national origin, handicap, age, other protected status or the ability to pay.
What are my responsibilities for my health insurance?
Patients with health insurance should contact their insurance company. You need to comply with the pre-certification, pre-approval or second opinion requirements of your insurance company and determine your specific financial obligations before your admission, surgery or diagnostic test. Also, you should verify that our hospital/physician is in your insurer’s network.
Phone numbers for your insurance company are usually listed on the back of your insurance card. If you don’t verify that Palos is covered under your insurance plan, your insurer may deny coverage, reduce your benefits, or substantially increase your portion of the medical expenses. Our Customer Service Representatives may be able to help you.
After receiving emergency services, you should contact your insurer as soon as you are able.
What do I need to bring to register?
Please bring your valid insurance card(s) and identification when you come to Palos. We need them for registration and processing.
How does my insurance company know what to pay?
As a courtesy to our patients, Palos bills your insurance company, including secondary carriers. Insurance companies are required by state law to pay hospitals within a reasonable period of time. If payment has not been received from your insurance company within 60 days, Palos will send you a statement and you may be responsible for the balance.
Please advise the Palos Business Office of the status of your insurance claim or if you are having difficulty contacting your insurance company. We may be able to help.
How do I know what I owe after the insurance company pays?
Palos will invoice you for the amount you owe. Accounts should normally be paid within 30 days of receipt of the bill. Palos will remind you via phone and/or mail of unpaid balances. Unpaid balances exceeding 60 days after billing may be turned over to a collection agency. If you are having difficulty meeting the payment terms, please contact Palos’ Customer Service Representatives.
Who pays the balance after my insurance company has paid?
When your insurance company has paid its share, you may be responsible for the unpaid balance of your bill.
Why am I receiving separate bills from physicians?
Independent physicians (emergency, radiology, pathology, anesthesia, etc.) bill for their professional services separately from Palos Hospital. Insurance coverage for services provided by these health care professionals may vary, depending on your insurance plan. If you have questions, please ask the Customer Service Representatives at Palos.
What if I don’t understand my Palos bill?
We strive to reduce the stress of hospital visits for patients and their families by making the payment process easy to understand. Our Customer Service Representatives are here to help you understand the services and charges on your bill.
How are charges determined by Palos?
Palos complies with the federal government requirement to use uniform charges as the starting point for all bills. Actual charges are based on the type of care provided. Charges may vary as a result of different treatments or complications.
In order to help patients understand their potential financial liability for services obtained at Palos and to allow comparison for similar services with other hospitals, the public may view standard charges in compliance with the Affordable Care Act, Section 2718(e) of the Public Health Service Act. This approach promotes transparency in medical billing.
What if I don’t have insurance?
Our Customer Service Representatives will help patients without health insurance to understand our Financial Assistance Policy and discounts that may apply. Additional information may be found in the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s Understanding Healthcare Prices: A Consumer Guide, available at: www.hfma.org/consumerguide.
What if I cannot pay for medical care?
Our mission is to serve our community by providing health care services. We recognize that some people lack the ability to pay all or part of their bill. If you cannot pay for your medical services, please talk to our Financial Assistance Advisors. They may be able to help. Our financial assistance application is also available for you to complete.
Is help available to pay my portion of health care costs?
Yes! If you are uninsured or lack adequate insurance coverage, Palos has programs to assist you in addressing your medical bills and minimizing financial hardship, including financial assistance.
What is the Financial Assistance Policy?
The Financial Assistance Policy is available to help patients who may be uninsured or underinsured understand available financial assistance. It covers services provided by Palos Hospital and physicians employed by Palos Medical Group. The Financial Assistance Policy only applies to medically necessary and emergency services.
What type of financial assistance is available?
Financial assistance may take many forms. If you are uninsured and have income at or below a certain percentage of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, you may owe nothing through our Financial Assistance Policy. We may be able to provide billing discounts based on your total household gross income or whether you have insurance. Payment alternatives may be available such as interest-free payment plans and assistance with enrollment in State and Federal Programs.
Who is eligible for financial assistance??
If you are a patient, or the person responsible for a patient’s bill, you may be eligible under our Financial Assistance Policy if you meet the following guidelines:
- Uninsured and are homeless, mentally incapacitated with no one to act on your behalf, eligible for Medicaid but not on the date of service or for non-covered service, enrolled in public assistance programs having eligibility criteria at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (including WIC, SNAP, Illinois Free Lunch and Breakfast Program, LIHEAP); or if the patient has died without an estate.
- Uninsured and have income at or below certain percentages of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- Insured and have income at or below certain percentages of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
How do I apply for financial assistance??
Applying for financial assistance is easy. You may apply before, during or after your visit by completing a Financial Assistance Application. Please contact a Customer Service Representative to help apply for financial assistance. We do not charge for this service.
Our Financial Assistance Policy and an application may be obtained in person at Palos Hospital, by calling us at the phone number listed above, or online as noted above.
If you have questions about the application process or need help completing the application, please contact a Customer Service Representative who will assist you.
Seniors who need assistance with Medicare forms should contact our Senior Resource Representative through Financial Assistance. Appointments are required. We do not charge for this service.
How does financial assistance work??
Financial assistance can result in either free or subsidized care, depending on need and/or inability to pay, as set forth in our Financial Assistance Policy.
Patients who qualify for financial assistance will not be charged more than the amounts generally billed for emergency treatment or other medically necessary care.
For assistance in a language other than English or translation of this information, the information in the Financial Assistance Policy or Financial Assistance Application, please visit Palos Hospital or call our Customer Service department at the phone number listed above.
How may I contact Palos’ Financial Assistance Advisors?
By Mail: You may request our Financial Assistance Policy and application free of charge by writing to us:
Attn: Director of Revenue Cycle
12251 S. 80th Ave.
Palos Heights, IL 60463
By Phone: You may contact a Financial Assistance Advisor at: 866. 395.4723 or 708.827.2200
In Person: During normal business hours, you may ask to speak to a Financial Assistance Advisor or request our Financial Assistance Policy and application at:
12251 S. 80th Ave.
Palos Heights, IL 60463
Please inquire at the Information Desk in our main lobby and they will direct you to the appropriate office.
Patients are ultimately responsible for their account balance.