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What is Global Billing with Health Insurance?

By on March 18, 2014 in Health Insurance, Insurance

What is Global Billing with Health Insurance?Just when you thought you understood health insurance and the dictionary of terms that is required to truly understand how you are covered, they throw another wrench into the equation with “global billing.”

What exactly is global billing and how is it different from the rest of your health insurance?

What is Global Billing with Health Insurance?

When you go to the doctor with an infection and they prescribe you an antibiotic that is filled at a pharmacy, your normal health insurance applies. You probably pay an office copay and some amount for the prescription. Your health insurance pays everything above your office copay to that doctor and the extra above whatever you pay for the prescription. Your spending goes towards your normal annual deductible.

Global billing is completely different and typically applies when you are dealing with a procedure completed in a hospital setting. Normal billing applies to services rendered to you inside a private doctors office, but major procedures inside a hospital facility are billed differently.

As you read the details it may be confusing, but the key thing to know is global billing is really designed to save you time and frustration by giving you one bill for the procedure.

The global bill covers services provided not only by your doctor, but includes charges from the hospital. Things like the use of the hospital facility, technical staff that participated in your treatment, the equipment used during your procedure, and your doctor’s time.

Why Global Billing?

Global billing is designed to eliminate some of the headache of having a major procedure performed. Instead of receiving separate bills from your doctor, the hospital facility, the technicians that assisted your doctor, and again from the hospital for the equipment used during your procedure you get one giant bill.

When Does Global Billing Apply?

You should know when you are coming into a global billing situation unless it is a significant emergency. The most common example of global billing comes up during pregnancy and the delivery of your baby at the hospital.

Your OBGYN doctor’s office should have someone sit down with you to go over how much delivering the child into the world is going to end up costing you on your insurance. Nice doctor offices then break down your deductible and allowable charges over several months so you don’t have to pay it all up front. With global billing you get one bill that covers all of the charges rather than hundreds of charges leading up to and after the delivery of the child. It also helps to see what the total cost will be up front so you can begin planning for it financially.

Why Do I Keep Getting “This is Not a Bill” Statements?

When you are in a global billing situation you do not completely owe the provider until, normally, after the procedure is completed. However, you need to be kept aware of the charges you are racking up with your insurance company so as you have smaller services provided leading up to the procedure you will begin to get notices of those charges. The statements you receive will clearly state “This is not a bill” so as to not confuse you and lead to overpayment for the services rendered.

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