Questions About Insurance
I want to come to Lancaster General Health for care, but you do not accept my insurance. Why not?
Lancaster General Health tries to maintain contractual relations with carriers that represent the highest volume of Lancaster County employers/residents. It's just not feasible to have contracts with every carrier. We recommend you contact your employer and discuss your options.
Does Lancaster General Hospital participate with my health plan?
To "participate" with a health plan, means that Lancaster General Hospital has a contractual agreement with the health plan. It is the customer’s responsibility to contact their health plan to verify that the hospital, physician practice, and other health care providers participate.
When am I responsible for obtaining approval from my health plan for the services being provided?
Your insurance plan may require you to obtain approval from your primary care physician or health plan prior to receiving the services. You should always check with your health insurance carrier prior to the service. If the situation is an emergency, life threatening, you or a family member may contact your physician or health plan within 24 hours of the visit. If the visit is determined to be non-emergent, not life threatening, you may be required to pay for the service yourself.
Why should I bring my insurance card with me for every visit?
Your insurance card contains valuable billing information. We use this information to help ensure accurate billing to the correct payer. Your card also indicates any co-payments that you may owe for the visit. Please review this information prior to your visit. Lancaster General Hospital will be implementing a document imaging system in the near future that will enable us to place an image of the front and back of your card on your account. If there are any billing issues that arise, we will have your insurance information at our fingertips to help resolve the problems.
Why am I asked to provide insurance information to Lancaster General Hospital every time I come in for a service?
Lancaster General Hospital is committed to providing high quality service from the point of registration through the billing after the service. Many of our customers have a change in insurance plans on a regular basis. This happens for a variety of reasons such as a job change, an employer changes carriers, or the customer chooses a different plan to meet their health care needs. Often patients think that if they have given their insurance information to their doctor or another provider, we have access to this information. This is more often than not an incorrect assumption. Our goal is to get it right the first time so that the customer is not trying to clear up billing down the road. The few extra minutes it takes to verify that we have the correct insurance information at every visit can save the customer much more time down the road.
My explanation of benefits from my insurance company states that I am not responsible for the balance of charges above the usual and customary or reasonable and customary rate. What does this mean?
Usual and customary or reasonable and customary rates are terms insurance companies use to define what they determine to be the going rate in a particular area. These rates may vary from payer to payer. Lancaster General Hospital does not accept these rates as payment in full. Many charges may vary from one provider to another, some higher and some lower. You will be responsible for the balance of these charges.
How will I know if my insurance company has paid?
Your insurance company is responsible for sending you an explanation of benefits regarding any payments they make toward your bill. It should also indicate any liability you have regarding the claim. If you have questions about your explanation of benefits, call your insurance company. The explanation of benefits should be kept as a reference tool for any balance due notices you may receive from us.
If you owe a deductible, co-payment, co-insurance or non-covered charge for a service, Lancaster General Hospital’s billing system will generate a series of letters for the balance due. This is not a detail bill of your account. Refer back to your blue and white bill, cross referencing the account number to get additional information.
If your insurance company pays the bill in full, you will not receive any additional bill from Lancaster General Hospital.
How do I follow up with my insurance company?
To prepare for the call with your insurance provider have the following items available:
- Your insurance card
- A copy of your blue and white bill
- Pen and paper to document your call
Take the name of the person to whom you are talking. Ask the status of the claim. If paid, ask them who the check was made out to, the check number, date of the check and amount. Get the phone number of the person you are talking.
If the claim has not been paid, ask for the anticipated payment date. Ask if they have all the information to process the claim. If they need additional information, obtain a fax number. The fax number and a contact person are very useful to the hospital.
Once you have the information you need from the insurance company, contact Lancaster General Hospital’s Customer Service department at 717-544-4953 or 800-647-4419 to provide the information you have gathered.
Questions About Billing
You can review billing information on our online Patient Billing page. Here you will find helpful information about billing. If you want to speak to a representative, please call 717-544-4953 or 800-647-4419.
Will you bill my insurance company for me?
Lancaster General Hospital will bill most insurance plans. Our customers are responsible for submitting claims to any liability insurance companies such as homeowners and school insurance directly. Our Medicare patients are responsible for submitting any co-insurance amount on their professional component to their supplemental carrier unless the carrier receives crossover information from HGSA. If we bill a secondary payer, the customer is responsible for submitting a copy of their explanation of benefits from the primary payer to the secondary payer. The patient will ultimately be held responsible for payment of all services provided, unless Lancaster General Hospital is restricted by a contractual arrangement or federal or state regulations.
Should I pay my co-pay at the time of my visit?
Yes. If you are utilizing one of our clinical offices, you should pay your co-payment when you register. Your co-payment amount should be indicated on your insurance card. You should direct any questions regarding your co-payment to your insurance company.
Why do I have more than one account with Lancaster General Hospital?
Lancaster General Hospital generates a new number for most services that we provide on different days. Generating a different number for every date of service simplifies the billing process and helps our customer service department help you with your questions regarding different services provided. Lancaster General Hospital does bill certain on-going services such as physical therapy, radiation therapy and occupational therapy with the same account number often for the duration of the service. These accounts bill monthly for all charges entered during that month. An inpatient hospital stay will generally have one number.
Why do I get more than one bill for the services I received?
In addition to Lancaster General Hospital’s charges, you may also receive a bill for physician charges such as the emergency room physicians, radiologists that read your x-rays, anesthesiologists, cardiologists etc. These physicians work independently and will bill separately.
Lancaster General Hospital does not have access to their systems and will not be able to assist you with these bills.
Why am I receiving a bill for the total amount of my visit when I have insurance?
Lancaster General Hospital will bill the patient for non-covered services such as the private room difference and guest meals.
You may receive a bill that indicates you are responsible for the total amount of the charges for a variety of reasons:
- We may not have your insurance information
- We may have billed your insurance company and they have not responded to us
- We may have billed your insurance company and they may have denied the service
When do I become responsible for my bill?
You are legally responsible for your bill at the time the service is provided. You are ultimately responsible for ensuring the hospital is reimbursed for the services provided to you. Lancaster General Hospital will use the information provided by you to submit your claim for payment. Under Act 68, your insurance company is required to act in your best interests by processing your claim for payment or denial within 45 days of receipt of the bill.
Why am I just now receiving letters for the balance due on services performed quite a while ago?
We regret any delay and inconvenience that this delay may cause you. However, Lancaster General Hospital does its best to work with the various insurance payers to receive payment prior to billing you.
What payment options does Lancaster General Hospital offer?
Lancaster General Hospital accepts cash, money orders, checks, and credit cards (Visa, Mastercard and Discover)
If you are unable to pay the full balance in one payment, we offer the following terms:
- If the balance is less than $1000, the customer can split the payment into a maximum of 6 equal monthly installments.
- If the balance is $1000 or higher, we can arrange a maximum of 12 equal monthly installments.
Lancaster General Health also offers a financial assistance program for uninsured and underinsured patients. This program is based on income, assets, and financial need. To discuss your options and obtain a copy of the financial assistance application, please see one of our financial counselors located at the hospital and Suburban Pavilion, or a contact Patient Financial Services.
Lancaster General Health also offers a self-pay discount for any medically necessary services provided to any patient without insurance coverage. To receive your discount or to discuss your situation.
Patient Financial Services: 717-544-4953 or 800-647-4419.
Why am I receiving letters for an account I already paid?
Your letter may have been sent just prior to the processing of your payment. The letter may be for a different account. Verify that the account number is the same as the account number of the account that you paid.
If you receive more than one letter after paying an account, please verify that your check was cashed. If it was cashed, ask your bank when it cleared your account. This information will be very helpful to the customer service specialist that will be researching your payment.
If you do not place an account number on your check and we did not receive the stub from the account with the check, your payment will be posted to the oldest account balance in our billing system. This may not be the account for which you are receiving the letter.
How can I request an itemization of my account with Lancaster General Hospital?
You can request a detailed audit bill by calling 717-544-4953 or 800-647-4419 and selecting that option from our telephone menu.
How can I pay my balance due?
You can mail a check, money order, or credit card information using the envelope that came with your bill. The mailing address if not using this envelope is:
Lancaster General Hospital
PO Box 3555
Lancaster, PA 17604
Be sure to write your account number on your check or money order.
You can make a credit card payment through our phone system 7 days a week, 24 hours a day by calling 717-544-4953 or 800-647-4419.
Lancaster General Hospital accepts Visa, Mastercard and Discover.
You can call 717-544-4953 or 800-647-4419 and give the credit card information to a customer service specialist.
The operating hours for the customer service department are:
Monday - Thursday: 8:30 am - 7 pm
Friday: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
You can pay in person in the financial counselor offices located on the first floor of Lancaster General Hospital and on the first floor of the Suburban Pavilion, Monday through Friday 8 am - 4:30 pm.
You can pay online by filling out our secure form.