Unraveling the Medicare maze
VMC's GoldenCare health and wellness program for seniors offers informative seminars to help you select your optimal Medicare plan and supplemental insurance.
If we are contracted with your insurance company, we will bill you after your insurance company has processed your claim. Our billing statement lists relevant charges and clearly notes any payments we received from your insurance company.
If you do not have insurance coverage, you will need to make financial arrangements prior to receiving services at VMC; Please read about our Financial Assistance program options.
Notice to Medicare Beneficiaries
To our Medicare population, please review your Medicare benefits carefully. You are responsible to know your Medicare benefits and non-covered services. You will be financially responsible for any non-covered services. An example of a Medicare non-covered service would be any self-administered drugs provided to you during a hospital outpatient hospital visit. If you have Medicare supplemental insurance, VMC will also submit a bill to them for all services, including the non-covered Medicare charges. If no drug coverage exists, or the non-covered services are also denied by your supplemental Medicare plan, payment for those drugs will be your personal financial responsibility.
For a more complete explanation, please review the flyer, "Medicare--Am I Covered?"
|This notice applies to commercial plans (fully insured commercial, PEBB, SEBB and opted-in self-funded employer-sponsored) that are enrolled into the Balance Billing Protection Act (BBPA) for specific services. The BBPA does not apply to Medicare or Medicaid, which have other protections for enrollees. To confirm this notice applies to your health plan please contact your insurance carrier.|
Beginning January 1, 2020, Washington state law protects you from ‘surprise billing’ or ‘balance billing’ if you receive emergency care or are treated at an in-network hospital or outpatient surgical facility by an out-of-network provider.
What is ‘surprise billing’ or ‘balance billing’ and when does it happen?
Under your health plan, you’re responsible for certain cost-sharing amounts. This includes copayments, coinsurance and deductibles. You may have additional costs or be responsible for the entire bill if you see a provider or go to a facility that is not in your plan’s provider network.
Some providers and facilities have not signed a contract with your insurer. They are called ‘out-of- network’ providers or facilities. They can bill you the difference between what your insurer pays and the amount the provider or facility bills. This is called ‘surprise billing’ or ‘balance billing.’
Insurers are required to tell you, via their websites or on request, which providers, hospitals and facilities are in their networks. And hospitals, surgical facilities and providers must tell you which provider networks they participate in on their website or on request.
When you CANNOT be balance billed:
The most you can be billed for emergency services is your plan’s in-network cost-sharing amount even if you receive services at an out-of-network hospital in Washington, Oregon or Idaho or from an out-of- network provider that works at the hospital. The provider and facility cannot balance bill you for emergency services.
Certain services at an In-Network Hospital or Outpatient Surgical Facility
When you receive surgery, anesthesia, pathology, radiology, laboratory, or hospitalist services from an out-of-network provider while you are at an in-network hospital or outpatient surgical facility, the most you can be billed is your in-network cost-sharing amount. These providers cannot balance bill you.
In situations when balance billing is not allowed, the following protections also apply:
If you receive services from an out-of-network provider, hospital or facility in any OTHER situation, you may still be balance billed, or you may be responsible for the entire bill.
This law does not apply to all health plans. If you get your health insurance from your employer, the law might not protect you. Be sure to check your plan documents or contact your insurer for more information.
If you believe you’ve been wrongly billed, file a complaint with the Washington state Office of the Insurance Commissioner at www.insurance.wa.gov or call 1-800-562-6900.
|Health Plan||Health Carrier Networks||Does Valley Medical Center's
|Does Valley Medical Center's
clinic network participate?
|Aetna Health (including First Health/Conventry, excluding Aexcel and Aetna Whole Health)||Open Choice, Managed Choice, Elect Choice, Aetna Premier Care Network, all w & w/o Aetna Managed Pharmacy Network||Yes||Yes|
|Centivo||Cigna PPO Network, Embright Network||Yes||Yes
|CIGNA (including former Great West and One Health plans)||WA PPO-PPA Direct Network, WA OAP Direct Network, WA PPO-PPA Direct Network w/National Pharmacy Network, WA OAP Direct w/National Pharmacy Network, Cigna LocalPlus of WA Network, Cigna Local Plus of WA w/National Pharmacy Network||Yes||Yes|
|DSHS Family Planning Only||Covers only contraception services in clinic; excludes all other medical services; excludes infants.||Covers only contraception services in clinic; excludes all other medical services; excludes infants.|
(DSHS) Medicaid Managed Care Plans
|Community Health Plan of Washington||Yes||No|
|Coordinated Care (Centene)||Yes||Yes|
|Molina Health Care||Yes||Yes|
| United Healthcare Community
|Molina Healthcare of Washington||Molina Choice, Constant Care and Core Care, Cascade Standard||Yes||Yes|
|Premera Heritage Signature||Preferred, Cascade||Yes||Yes|
| Regence Bridgespan –
Real Value and UW Medicine EPO only
|Bronze Care on Demand, Bronze Essential, Bronze HDHP, Cascade||Yes||Yes|
| Regence Bridgespan –
WA Option Network
|United HealthCare||Cascade, UHC+||Yes||Yes|
|Regence Blue Shield||Individual & Family Network, Cascade Care UW Network, UW Medicine, High Performing Network (HPN)|
|Federal Employees: Aetna Health, Alliance Health Plan, AWPU Health Plan, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, GEHA Benefit Plan, Mail Handlers, and PacifiCare||Yes||Yes|
|First Choice Health Network||First Choice Health Network||Yes||Yes|
|Kaiser Foundation Health Plan||Access PPO and Options Federal plans||Yes||Yes|
|Kaiser Foundation Health Plan||Summit PPO Network||Tier 2 Benefit||Tier 2 Benefit|
|Kaiser Foundation Health Plan||Core/HMO, Medicare Advantage, Elect PPO, Core Select and Connect/Virtual Plus||No||No|
|Health Care Authority/Uniform Medical Plan||Yes||Yes|
|Labor & Industries||Yes||Yes|
|Managed Health Network||Yes||Yes|
Medicare Managed Care Plans
|Aetna Medicare Advantage||Yes||Yes|
|Amerigroup Medicare Advantage||Yes||Yes|
| Humana / Honor / Choice Care
|Humana Medicare, Honor/Choice Care/PPO/HMO, Optum Care Network||Yes||Yes|
|Molina Medicare Options Plus||Yes||Yes|
|Premera Medicare Advantage||Yes||Yes|
| UnitedHealthcare Medicare
| Medicare Managed Care Plan Optum
|Regence Blue Advantage HMO||Yes||Yes|
|Regence Medicare Advantage PPO||Yes||Yes|
|WellCare Medicare HMO & PPO||Yes||Yes|
|Premera Blue Cross||Global, Heritage, Heritage and Dental Choice, Heritage Prime, Heritage Signature, Heritage Signature and Dental Choice, Individual Signature,
LifeWise Assurance Co., LifeWise Health Plan of WA Preferred
|Premera Blue Cross||LifeWise Primary, LifeWise Cascade Care||No||No|
|Private Health Care Systems / Multiplan||Yes||Yes|
|Regence Blue Shield||Participating, Preferred, Individual & Family Network, Real Value, UW Medicine, High Performing Network (HPN)||Yes||Yes|
|United Health Care/United Health Networks||Charter, Choice, Options, Signature Value, Select||Yes||Yes|
|United Health Care/United Health Networks||Navigate, Core||Yes||No|
* The contracted health plans listed above are subject to change.