American Healthcare System III – 美国医疗系统之三: the medical bills are confusing

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I talked about American Healthcare System I 美国医疗系统之一 and American Healthcare System II 美国医疗系统之二。Recently due to my older daughter’s ankle injury, I learned a bit more about the medical bills.

I received 5 bills total, one paper bill didn’t come because I turned on paperless billing inside MyChart

We had two visits at Shriner’s hospital near the BJC at central west end: the initial encounter (encounter as in medical billing) and the followup encounter (to make sure her ankle is good). She was not seriously injured per Shriner Hospital but I am still glad that we had professional to check her out to make sure.

There were 5 bills or 5 payments from my side. Two bills for the X ray which although it says the doctor’s name in the insurance company website’s benefit explanation section. For those two bills I paid on the Shriner’s hospital MyChart website. Talking about MyChart, personally I liked it very much as it’s electronic. And recently I switched my primary doctor to Mercy partially due to this. I can see the appointments, messages and test results, as well as billing info in one spot. I didn’t realize or recall until very recently, all the insurance and billing information are in the MyUHC website. More on this in the next section.

More paper bills and that’s the confusing part

Later on there are two bills for the nurse practitioner who looked at S. And one bill for therapist’s work who came for the 2nd visit. Because I don’t see the bills inside MyChart, and initially I didn’t go to MyUHC website (the benefit explanation website) I only see one paper bill came after another, and I didn’t know what’s going on.

Eventually I paid off all 3 bills online by following the website address on the letter (the paper bill), because I prefer to get refund check instead of get the collection letter.

I still didn’t fully understand is why those bills don’t show up in the MyChart website. Last but not least, after I paid all the bills, I found out I can pay all those bills from the MyUHC website too. There is some integration between UnitedHealth (insurance side) and its subsidiary Optum (HSA account, payment side). Now I recall I used that functionality a few years ago when I had the United Health insurance from my previous employer Mastercard.

Out of pocket cost

The total out of pocket for Shriner’s hospital is about $450 for us: which seems okay for me at least. The UnitedHealth plan do have some decent discount from the initial charge.

The main lesson again, if I can quote my former colleague at Unigraphics, don’t get sick 🙂

%d bloggers like this: