Understanding your bill
You’ll need to make a payment for most scheduled services when you check in for your visit. Get a cost estimate before your appointment so you know what to expect.
What you pay at check-in is usually only a partial payment, and may not cover the full charges for the services you receive. You’ll get a bill later for any balance you owe.
You should expect a bill after your visit if:
- your payment at check-in didn’t cover the full cost of the services you were scheduled to receive, and/or
- during your visit, you received additional services that weren’t scheduled
Your doctor and care team may not know all the services you’ll need until they see you. When you come in for a scheduled visit, your doctor may request additional services like lab tests or X-rays. Charges for these unscheduled services will appear on your bill.
You may receive different types of services during a single visit. And these may result in different costs. For example, suppose you come in for a routine physical. Since routine physicals are considered a preventive care services, they’re typically covered at little or no cost to you.
During your checkup, however, your doctor might decide that a mole needs to be removed for testing. Because mole removal and testing are considered a non-preventive care service, you’d probably have to pay an additional copay, coinsurance, or deductible payment for this procedure. The extra costs will appear on your bill later.
Depending on the types of services you receive, you may get what’s known as a physician bill or a hospital bill.
- Physician bill — This will show your charges for services usually received at a medical office, including doctor’s office visits, lab tests, and X-rays. It may also include physician-related services provided in a hospital — for example, when a radiologist reviews X-rays taken in a hospital.
- Hospital bill — If you’re admitted to the hospital, this bill will show your charges for most services you receive there, including surgery and anesthesia.
The bill you get at home will show the services you received and the amount you owe, along with how much of the total charges were paid by your health plan. See the summary on the back of your bill for a helpful overview of how to read it.
View a sample bill♦ so you know what to expect.
You’ll usually get a bill for any month that you come in for services or have any charges or payments posted to your account. Services and related payments may take up to 125 days to appear on your bill. If you don’t see a recent service or payment on your bill, look for it on a future bill. If you have a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), you'll be able to use your bill to validate expenses on your HRA account.
Follow the instructions on your bill to find out where to send your payment. If you have a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) or health savings account (HSA), you can use the debit card provided by your account administrator to make a payment.
If you have other questions about your bill, call the number on the front of your Kaiser Permanente ID card.
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