Paying your hospital bill and worrying about insurance claims may be the last thing you or your loved ones want to deal with while you are coping with cancer. That’s why MD Anderson has financial specialists committed to helping you throughout your care.
MD Anderson's Patient Business Services teams and Financial Clearance Center work behind the scenes to help you understand the insurance and billing process so you can focus on your cancer treatment.
Our customer service representatives are here to answer questions about your bill and patient statement. You may reach us online through MyChart.
Representatives are available 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (closed between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.).
Understanding Insurance and Billing
Health care is complicated, and so is insurance.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when navigating the ins and outs of insurance coverage.
That’s why we explained commonly used terms to help you better understand the process.
We want to help answer your questions so you can spend more time focusing on your care.
Co-insurance: A method of cost-sharing between you and your insurance provider. You pay a percentage of costs as part of your contract with your insurance provider. You pay this amount even if your deductible has been met. For example, you may pay 20% of the costs of your services even after you have met your deductible.
Co-payment: The fixed dollar amount that you must pay out-of-pocket prior to or at the time of service. This amount is pre-determined and varies by insurance provider. It is based on your plan type and the type of service being provided. MD Anderson is contractually obligated to collect co-payments from patients when a co-payment applies to the services being provided.
Deductible: The specified amount you must pay for health care expenses before insurance covers the remaining costs. It is your part of the contract with your insurance provider.
In network: The hospitals, doctors or other health care providers who have a contract with your insurance provider. The plan you have covers the costs of these health care providers. You may still have to pay a co-payment.
Insurance provider: A company you pay to help you cover your health care costs. This company has different plans and policies for its members. It makes payments to hospitals and health care providers on your behalf.
Out of network: Hospitals, physicians or other health care providers who do not have a contract with your insurance provider. Your insurance will not cover the costs, so you will be responsible for paying for the services provided to you.
Out-of-pocket costs: Health care costs, such as deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance, that are not covered by insurance. Out-of-pock costs do not include premium costs.
Out-of-pocket maximum: A yearly cap on the amount of money you are required to pay out-of-pocket for health care costs, but not including the premium cost.
Premium: The amount you pay, often monthly, for health insurance. The cost of the premium may be shared between employers and government purchasers and patients.
Shoppable Service Estimate: An estimate of standard charges for common shoppable services created by you from our price estimator tool. These estimates have not been reviewed or verified because services rendered to each individual patient and their cost may vary due to treatment decisions, unforeseen complications, additional tests or services ordered by your provider, and the individual needs and condition of each patient.
Standard charge(s): The charge amount is a fixed fee, and the combination of services will determine the estimate of the total charged amount.
You can avoid getting unexpected bills by having authorization from your insurance company before a scan, test or treatment. That is why you may be asked to wait while your insurance company pre-authorizes a last-minute service. While we ask for feedback from your insurance company as soon as possible, their reviews may not be immediate.
We understand this can be frustrating and inconvenient, especially for those with a tight travel schedule. However, this important step can influence future coverage decisions by your insurance company. If you have questions about your coverage, speak to the Financial Clearance Center team at 1-844-294-4322.
MD Anderson is one organization with many locations across Houston. This allows you to get the cancer care you need, at a location convenient for you.
Outpatient services are provided at all locations. The Texas Medical Center Campus provides both inpatient and outpatient services.
For billing purposes, MD Anderson facilities are called provider-based locations. Another term is hospital outpatient clinic.
Based on your insurance plan benefits, your insurance company may process separate claims with coinsurance and deductible amounts for physicians and for hospital services (also called facility resources) provided at MD Anderson locations.
This means you may receive two bills for each service received, one for the physician’s services and another for the hospital or facility resources.
Your insurance plan may assign additional patient responsibility for diagnostic imaging services such as MRI or CT at MD Anderson.
Please contact your insurance company directly if you have questions about your benefits.
The American Cancer Society explains health insurance laws.
Check out The Learning Center’s Recommended Resource on financial information.
Learn more about health care industry terms from the Kaiser Foundation.
Billing & Insurance FAQs
How can I pay my bill online?
- Log in to MyChart.
- Go to "Billing."
- Select "Billing Summary."
- Click the “Pay Now” button on the left. This is also available through the “View account” link under the “Pay Now” button.
- Select “Amount Due,” “Outstanding Balance” or “Other Amount” to
Helpful Hint: Be careful when selecting the account balance you wish to pay in the drop down "Apply to payment" portion of the screen. The default selection allows you to pay the full balance on your account or the balance on a specific account.
How can I send a payment by U.S. mail?
You can pay with a personal or cashier's check from United States bank branches only. Mail the payment to:
MD Anderson Cancer Center
P.O. Box 4461
Houston, TX 77210-4461
*Please write your Medical Record Number (MRN) in the memo section of your check. If you have your payment coupon, please include it with your check.
How can I make a payment by phone?
Patient Business Services specialists can accept credit card payments by phone at 713-792-2991 or 1-800-527-2318 (toll-free.)
We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover
How can I pay my bill in person at MD Anderson?
Due to COVID-19 precautions, patients without appointments are strongly encouraged to pay online via MyChart or by phone at 713-792-2991 or 1-800-527-2318 (toll-free.)
Additionally, payments (co-payments, deductibles and other balances due) can be made during your scheduled clinic visit at one of our cashier locations.
Address: 1515 Holcombe Blvd.
Location: Main Building, Floor 1, near the Cafe Corner, room P1.2980
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. -5 p.m.
Mays Clinic (Ambulatory Clinic Building)
Address: 1220 Holcombe Blvd.
Location: Mays Clinic, Floor 2, near the Tree Sculpture, room ACB 2.2157
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Payments can be made by credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover), cash, pre-printed personal checks or cashier checks.
How can I speak with a Patient Business Services Specialist concerning my bill?
Patient Business Services specialists are here to answer questions about your charges, payments and balances.
You can contact us through MyChart, our online patient portal. First, log in to MyChart. Next:
- Go to "Messaging"
- Select "Ask a Question"
- Select "Customer Service Question"
- Enter a subject
- Use the drop-down menu to select "Billing"
- Type your message in the comment box
- Click “Send”
You can also contact us by phone at 713-792-2991 or 1-800-527-2318 (toll-free).
Specialists are available 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday (closed between noon and 1 p.m.).
Why hasn’t my insurance paid MD Anderson?
Generally, insurance carriers process claims within two to six weeks from the date the claim is filed.
There are many reasons why claims processing between MD Anderson and your insurance carrier can take several weeks.
The most common reasons for delays are incomplete insurance coverage, inaccurate insurance coverage, change in coverage, or a denial from the insurance company.
The most important step to prevent any delays is to verify that all of your insurance coverage(s) are accurate in our system. Please verify your insurance and address information during your check-in for any appointment or procedure.
You can conveniently verify your insurance information online before your appointment:
- Log in to MyChart.
- Go to "Billing."
- Select "Insurance Summary" to see the insurance we have on file for you. This section allows you to easily request a change, such as adding or removing coverage, directly in our system.
To verify your coverage over the phone, call 713-792-2991 or 1-800-527-2318 (toll-free).
Why am I being billed for something I thought my insurance would cover?
The most common reasons for unanticipated balances are benefit plan limitations, payer policy guidelines or a denial from the insurance company.
The most important step to determine the reason for the balance or insurance denial is to verify that we have all your insurance coverage(s) accurate in our system. Please verify your insurance and address information during your check-in for any appointment or procedure.
You can also verify your insurance information before you arrive:
- Log in to MyChart
- Go to "Billing"
- Select "Insurance Summary” to see the insurance we have on file for you. This section allows you to easily request a change, such as adding or removing coverage, directly in our system.
How do I update my address information?
You can update your demographic/address information in MyChart.
- Log in to MyChart
- Go to "Profile"
- Select "Personal Information"
- Select “Edit” under the “Contact Information” section
- Click "Save Changes" after updating any demographic field
Patient Business Services specialists can also update your information by phone at 713-792-2991 or 1-800-527-2318 (toll-free).
How do I speak with the Financial Clearance Center if I am a self-pay patient?
If your insurance plan is not accepted at MD Anderson, or if you do not have insurance and are paying for your own care, you will be asked to pay a deposit for your first appointment at MD Anderson.
The deposit is only an estimate, but the actual charges may be higher or lower based on the actual services received. Estimates for continued treatment at MD Anderson are based on the customized treatment plan recommended by your MD Anderson physicians.
Self-pay patients may be eligible for a discount when their account status is in good standing.
We have dedicated financial specialists that can provide a cost estimate and accept your deposit payment by phone. We accept Visa, Master Card, American Express and Discover. Call 713-745-9998 or 1-844-331-9998 (toll-free).
Payments made by cash, personal pre-printed checks, cashier checks and wire transfers can be arranged with a financial specialist. Financial specialists are available 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
How can I access my monthly statements?
MD Anderson will file insurance claims for your hospital and physician visits. This process can take several weeks. You will receive a monthly statement only when you have a balance due. Statement options include paper and paperless statements. We encourage you to sign up for paperless statements through our MyChart portal.
You can view and pay your bill online.
- Log in to MyChart
- Go to “Billing”
- Go to “Billing Summary”
- Click the “View account” link under the “Pay Now” button
- Select the “Communications” tab on the far right
- Click “View PDF” on the statement date you wish to see
Don’t hesitate to contact us by phone if you have any difficulties navigating MyChart. Call 713-792-2991 or 1-800-527-2318 (toll-free).
Is financial assistance available?
If you cannot afford the cost of your care and you are a Texas resident, you may request a Patient Financial Assistance application from your patient access representative or financial specialists. Eligibility for patient financial assistance is based on the Federal Poverty Index.
Solicitud de Asistencia Financiera para Pacientes: Imprima y complete esta aplicación y devuélvala a su representante de acceso paciente.
How can I get an estimate for services?
You can use MyChart.mdanderson.org or the MyChart mobile app to create your own shoppable service estimates for more than 400 common services using your insurance coverage information to calculate expected payment. If you are a self-pay patient, you may create a shoppable service estimate to better understand your financial responsibility.
Shoppable service estimate information is based on historical charges for this service(s). The estimate may not include all professional fees or additional tests required for your care. Your final bill will include charges for the actual services you receive. Charge information is based on current data and is only an estimate of charges for the service(s) and is subject to change without notice.
We encourage you to contact your insurance provider to review details of your coverage. This may help you better understand which charges will be your responsibility to pay.
Guests can create estimates in MyChart by going to my.mdanderson.org/MyChart/GuestEstimates.
Whom do I call for technical difficulties with MyChart or Shoppable Services estimates?
Use the tip sheets in MyChart to learn how to create an estimate. Call your insurance provider to understand and verify your benefits prior to entering information.
For general questions about how to use MyChart, call askMDAnderson at 877-632-6789.
What can I expect to pay for COVID-19 testing?
COVID-19 testing can be found in the charge lists on the Price Transparency webpage and using MyChart estimates. Remember to talk to your insurance provider for additional details.