Patients and their families have been taking on a bigger share of health care costs in recent years as insurers and employers raise premiums, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs. The following tips can help you keep on top of these expenses, prevent unnecessary health costs or lower your total annual healthcare spend.

Tips for Managing Out-of-Pocket Costs

  • To find out what your insurance plan benefit covers and what your financial obligation may be, call the customer service or member services department of your insurance company (the phone numbers are on your insurance card). Your employer's human resources department may also be a source of information and assistance.
  • If you do not see your physician and/or hospital listed as contracted with your health plan contact the UChicago Medicine’s Office of Managed Care at, or see our current list of insurers.
  • Please make sure that both your UChicago Medicine physician and hospital are listed as contracted providers by your insurance company. It is possible that only the physician or only the hospital is contracted with your insurance plan. 
  • If our hospital and/or physicians are not in your insurance company's network, we are still happy to provide you with services. If your policy has out-of-network benefits, your insurance plan may still cover the services. However, you may be responsible for paying a higher amount out-of-pocket than if you'd received services from an in-network provider.
  • If your insurance plan does not cover a service or procedure, you may be liable for full payment of the bill.
  • If your insurance company requires a referral and you do not have one, you will be responsible for full payment of your bill at the time of service, or you may not be seen for your scheduled appointment. If your specialist requires more visits or tests than your insurer approves or if the referral has expired, you must contact your primary care physician for another referral and/or prior authorization.
  • Please be aware that our outpatient visits are billed as "hospital-based outpatient clinics," and not private doctor office visits. Some insurance plans pay different benefit levels for each type of visit.
  • It is important to understand your insurance plan’s current benefit and coverage rules. Policies and coverage determinations may vary from year to year.
  • You are responsible to notify us of your insurance and any changes to your insurance coverage.
  • Should you require additional assistance regarding your out-of-pocket cost, we can provide you with financial assistance options.