MINNETONKA, Minn. (Feb. 24, 2014) More than $20 million in payments have already been made to more than 50,000 health care providers through a recently introduced secure, online bill-payment service by UnitedHealthcare that enables plan participants to pay their medical bills and manage their health care claims and related expenses all from one location.
The online service, myClaims Manager, was launched July 2013 and is available to more than 21 million UnitedHealthcare plan participants nationwide. UnitedHealthcare remains the only national insurance carrier to offer plan participants online bill-payment capabilities that are fully integrated with their online claim information.
The bill-pay feature is the latest enhancement to UnitedHealthcare's member portal www.myuhc.com. The service enables plan participants to pay medical bills electronically with their credit card, debit card, health savings account or bank account information, adding convenience for consumers while helping health care providers get paid faster and more easily.
Online bill-payment services are becoming increasingly important as consumers continue paying a larger percentage of their medical bills, according to a recent report from the American Medical Association. Currently, only about two-thirds of physician practices accept credit cards, according to a report from SK&A Information Services. myClaims Manager fills an important need for both consumers and health care providers by offering an efficient, alternative payment system.
"The ability to pay my bill within a few days of when my claim is processed is a dream come true," said Melissa Kegler, a UnitedHealthcare plan participant who lives in Seattle. "I am now able to more easily view my deductible limits and out-of-pocket maximum, as well as track and pay my medical bills. This service helps me stay organized and save time."
Designed to use the InstaMed Network, myClaims Manager is available to UnitedHealthcare employer customers of all sizes and to their employees. UnitedHealthcare's entire network of physicians and other health care providers are eligible to register and receive electronic payments through InstaMed.
"Technology is rapidly changing how people interact with health care professionals, navigate the health care system and make health care payments," said Franco Rizzolo, DC, partner and administrator of Suburban Orthopaedic Medical Center, LLC in Newark, N.J. "The capabilities available through myClaims Manager, including the ability for patients to make quick and easy payments, represent an important advancement that is benefiting patients as well as health care providers."
More consumers are using electronic payments to complete transactions with businesses. According to the financial industry research and consulting firm Aite Group, 64 percent of consumer bill payments were completed electronically in 2012, up from 49 percent in 2008.
"Consumers and health care providers are embracing myClaims Manager as an important service that helps make the health system work better," said Yasmine Winkler, UnitedHealthcare's chief marketing & product officer. "By enabling consumers to more easily monitor, manage and understand their health care expenses, people can take charge of their health, make more informed decisions regarding their care, and more easily interact with health care providers."
The online feature helps consumers better manage their health-related finances by:
- helping consumers check claims for accuracy and resolve any discrepancies;
- highlighting the current status of an individual's deductible and out-of-pocket spending;
- tracking medical expenses for tax reporting;
- providing claim details with color-coded visuals that help consumers understand what they owe and why;
- allowing consumers to make notes and flag claims for follow-up, as well as mark claims they've already paid;
- enabling consumers to pay their out-of-pocket expenses to care providers online from the site, simplifying the experience by managing their claims and payments all from one location; and
- explaining health care terms in easy-to-understand language.
"Simplifying the health care payment system is crucial for all health care stakeholders, and this new payment functionality represents an important evolution that is benefiting consumers, care providers and the entire health care system," said Bill Marvin, president, CEO and co-founder of InstaMed. "Integrating myClaims Manager with the InstaMed Network has resulted in more efficient and seamless payments between consumers and health care professionals."
myClaims Manager is one of the latest innovations introduced by UnitedHealthcare that empower consumers to make more informed health care decisions. Other examples include Health4Me, a mobile application that puts an array of personalized health information at people's fingertips; myHealthcare Cost Estimator, which enables people to comparison shop for health care services based on quality and cost; and myEasybook, an online health care shopping service that makes it easier and more affordable for consumers to make appointments with local health care professionals, including for same-day and next-day appointments.
InstaMed simplifies every health care clearinghouse and payment transaction for providers and payers, all in one place. InstaMed enables providers to collect more money, get paid faster and reduce the time and costs to collect. InstaMed allows payers to cut settlement and disbursement costs with electronic payments. InstaMed's single, integrated network simplifies the healthcare payments process for 400+ hospitals, 60,000+ practices/clinics and 100+ billing services; connects to 3,000+ payers; and integrates with 50+ practice management systems. InstaMed processes tens of billions in healthcare payments each year at a rate of more than $1,000 per second. Visit InstaMed on the web at www.instamed.com.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 800,000 physicians and other health care professionals and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 45 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.