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Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your most frequently asked questions about billing at UC San Diego Health System. If you prefer to discuss your bill in person, please call 855-827-3633 to schedule an appointment.

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Customer Service

What if I have questions about my bill?

Our toll-free customer service department is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Call 855-827-3633 for assistance.

Can my relative/friend call on my behalf to get information for me on my account?

In April 2003, a federal act called the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) went into effect that protects patient information. The hospital cannot release ANY information concerning your medical record, including financial information, to anyone but you, a legal guardian for patients under 18 years of age, and/or a conservator without written permission unless specifically permitted by law.

I received a bill from a doctor whom I did not see. Why?

The hospital refers some ancillary services to outside medical professionals. For example, we may send laboratory tests to outside physicians for additional medical opinions. In addition, x-rays are read by specialty radiologists. These (and other physicians) may bill you directly.

I did not receive some of the services for which I have been billed. What should I do?

Please call our customer service department, 855-827-3633, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you call after hours, please leave a message with your name, date of service and account number. Your call will be returned the next business day.

I have never had to pay in advance at UC San Diego Health System before; why are you asking for my money up front now and why can’t I be billed?

Our financial policy is to collect any patient payment responsibility prior to the service being rendered.

Patient Billing

Why did I get more than one bill?

In general, multiple bills will be for different parts of your doctor visit. If you look at the top of each bill, you may see that one is from UC San Diego Medical Group for services provided by your doctor. You may also receive a separate bill from UC San Diego Health System for hospital services, such as lab tests, radiology or nuclear medicine.

For example, if you had lab work done at the time of your visit, you may receive the following three bills: one from your doctor’s office for your clinic visit, one for the lab work, and one from the pathologist reading the lab tests.

It is also possible that you may have received a duplicate billing statement during the brief transition period to an improved billing system in October 2013. If you believe you've received a duplicate bill or if you have any other questions about your bills, call our customer service department, 855-827-3633, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

How can I pay my bill online?

UC San Diego recently updated its billing system and it in a transition period.

  • If your bill is for services received before Oct. 26, 2013, you can pay online by visiting for your Health System (hospital) bill or for your Medical Group (physician) bill.
  • If your billing statement is for services received on or after Oct. 26, 2013, you can pay online through MyUCSDChart. Log in or set up an account at and look for Billing in the left sidebar.

How much will I owe?

Patient financial responsibility is determined by your specific insurance policy. Prior authorization for services may or may not be required. A Patient Access representative or financial counselor is available to assist you with an estimate of what you will owe. UC San Diego Health System's financial policy is to collect co-pays, deductibles and Medi-Cal Share of Cost (SOC) prior to or at the time of service.

How do I get a copy of my bill?

Please call our customer service department, 855-827-3633, and we will send you a copy of your itemized bill.

Who can I expect to receive a bill from?

Physician services that are received as an inpatient (where you are hospitalized) at a UC San Diego Health System facility or as an outpatient at a hospital based clinic are billed separately by the physician. The physician charge is not included in the billing that UC San Diego Health System submits to your insurance, nor are they included on the patient billing statement you receive. All physician services are billed separately from hospital facility services. You may receive separate billing for services from:

  • Personal physician
  • Surgeons
  • Pathologists
  • Emergency Department physicians
  • Specialty physicians (i.e. cardiologists, pulmonologists, ENT physicians, etc.)
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Radiologists

I had prior authorization for my medical service(s) at UC San Diego Health System. Why am I being asked to pay money?

Even if you have authorization for a service, you may still have a financial responsibility. The amount you owe is determined by your health insurance coverage. UC San Diego Health System verifies your insurance eligibility and benefits, then determines your financial responsibility, if any. Your policy may require a co-payment, deductible, Share of Cost, and/or out of pocket maximum to be met before coverage is effective.

What if I overpay my bill?

Patient Financial Services will work with you to resolve any billing discrepancies that may occur. If there is an overpayment to your account, it will be transferred to other open self-pay outstanding balances up to the amount that is due (either for the Health System and/or Medical Group). The refund of any remaining overpayment will be sent to the patient/guarantor. If the overpayment is due to a payment from a credit card, the first priority will be to send the overpayment back to the credit card issuer; otherwise, a check will be issued to the patient/guarantor. Please allow 6-8 weeks for the overpayment to be processed.

If you believe you have made a payment in error or have any other issues or questions related to your payment history with UC San Diego Health System, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Financial Assistance

I am unable to pay my balance in full. Is it possible to make payment arrangements?

A financial counselor can assist you with making payment arrangements prior to receiving medical service(s). They will work with you to determine whether or not you are eligible for a Letter of Agreement. If you cannot make payment arrangements or do not contact a financial counselor regarding making arrangements, your medical service may be deferred until acceptable arrangements have been made.

Is financial assistance available if I do not have health insurance?

If you do not have health insurance, please contact our patient financial services team at 855-827-3633. They can assist you with the application process for public assistance programs, including County Medical Services (CMS) or State programs such as Medi-Cal.

Is there a discount available if I do not qualify for financial assistance?

UC San Diego Health System will provide discounted pricing to uninsured patients who do not qualify for charity assistance. The discount is equal to 45% percent of the estimated gross charges for anticipated hospital services. The discount will be automatically applied at the time of billing to all accounts designated as “Self Pay” when charity assistance criteria are not met. Speak with a financial counselor before medical service(s) is/are provided, whenever possible, or before being discharged from the hospital.

What is patient financial services?

The patient financial services team is part of the Patient Access / Admissions team. We are dedicated to helping patients and physicians determine sources of reimbursement for hospital services.

As a private, non-profit institution, UC San Diego Health System and Medical Group relies on patient care revenues, commercial insurance, government programs or direct patient payments.

Insurance Billing

How will I know when my health insurance carrier has paid?

You will receive an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your health insurance carrier describing the services they have been charged, the amount they were charged, and the amount that was paid by the insurance carrier. The EOB is not a bill.

Will my insurance cover this service?

UC San Diego will make every attempt to ensure that the service(s) we provide has been authorized by your insurance prior to the service(s) being rendered. Not all insurance companies will provide a pre-authorization; therefore, it is UC San Diego Health System's expectation that you are familiar with your insurance benefits. If you are unsure of your medical benefits, call your insurance company to find out if the service(s) you need are a covered benefit. If authorization for service(s) is/are denied by your insurance carrier, we will inform you that authorization for medical service(s) were denied. At that point we can provide a quote and make payment arrangements, if necessary.

Is it my responsibility to ensure that the service(s) I am receiving is/are covered by my health insurance plan before receiving them?

It is in your best interest to know and understand your plan benefits, as well as any deductible and co-payment amounts that you are responsible for paying. If you do not understand your coverage, we recommend you contact your insurance carrier. They should be able to explain if the service is covered or not. You can also contact a UC San Diego Health System financial counselor to review your benefits with you.

If my insurance does not cover the medical service(s) I need and/or receive, am I responsible for the bill?

Yes, you are financially responsible and will be billed for services not covered by your insurance. If you cannot pay the full balance due, you may call customer service, 855-827-3633, to discuss a payment arrangement.