How to Avoid or Minimize Medical Bills

student with Books

U-M students' health service fee (paid as part of tuition) does not pay for services received outside UHS. 

Before you go outside UHS for services, get prepared by answering the following questions.

If you have health insurance:

Contact your insurance company by calling the number on your insurance card to learn:

  • Will your insurance pay for services at the medical facility to which you are being referred? If so, will they pay the entire cost? (Some insurance companies do not pay the entire cost.)
  • Do you need any paperwork (for example, referral, pre-certification, prior authorization) before the services are provided?
  • Do you have an annual deductible, and if so, has it been met? 

Contact the medical facility to which you are being referred to learn whether they accept your insurance and whether they will bill your insurance company. Be sure to take your insurance card with you to your appointment. 

If you don't have health insurance, or if your insurance won't pay for all costs, consider:

Contact the medical facility to which you have been referred to learn how much the services will potentially cost.

Plan for how you will you pay for these services. If you anticipate that payment will be a challenge, see Concerned about Costs or Privacy? and Resources for Financial Assistance and Medical Needs. 

Inform your health care provider if you're considering delaying or not getting services at all. They can help you understand potential consequences and alternatives.