Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my services require prior authorization?
Why am I getting bills from other providers when I had services
done at McLaren Northern Michigan?

If I owe the hospital money, what assistance is available?
Why do I get questionnaires from my insurance companies?
Why does it take so long to get a statement showing what I owe?
Why didn't my insurance pay?
Which insurance plans are accepted by McLaren Northern Michigan?
What is an EOB / what does it stand for?


How do I know if my services require prior authorization?
Some procedures require prior authorization and will not be paid by your insurance company unless prior authorization is obtained. Please refer to your insurance handbook or call the number listed on the back of your insurance card to learn how your insurance company handles prior authorizations.

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Why am I getting bills from other providers when I had services done at McLaren Northern Michigan?
In order to provide our patients with excellent healthcare, certain services (such as lab and x-ray procedures, for example) may require interpretations and/or assistance from outside providers, so you may receive a separate bill from the laboratory, radiologist or anesthesiologist.

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If I owe the hospital money, what assistance is available?
You may qualify for financial assistance through McLaren Northern Michigan. McLaren Northern Michigan offers several payment options based on financial information.

Please ask to see our Patient Financial Services Counselors if you have:

  •     No health insurance
  •     No secondary insurance
  •     Been denied by Medicaid
  •     An insurance company which requires a large co-pay or deductible

Click here for the information and forms  Please complete the form and follow the instructions and be sure to include the required supporting documents. Click here to read about the 2011 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines.

Please call Patient Financial Services at 231.487.4760 or 800.345.7162 to discuss payment options.

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Why do I get questionnaires from my insurance companies?
Sometimes insurance companies may need to gather additional information from policy holders before they are able to process payments. These questionnaires should be filled out and returned promptly to your insurance company so that payment can be generated.

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Why does it take so long to get a statement showing what I owe?
A statement is not generated until all of your insurance companies have responded or made payments. In some cases, we ask for your help to resolve the claim.

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Why didn't my insurance pay?
It is possible that your medical situation didn't meet your insurance company's definition of "medical necessity." Another possibility is that the medical attention you received does not qualify as a benefit of your insurance plan. Sometimes the insurance company will cite a "non-emergent condition" as a reason for not paying. Your Explanation of Benefits should provide more specific answers to why your insurance did not cover services.

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Which insurance plans are accepted by McLaren Northern Michigan?
McLaren Northern Michigan accepts Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross, Blue Care Network, Cofinity, Aetna and various other insurances. We will bill any insurance, regardless of participation - however, if your insurance isn't normally accepted at McLaren Northern Michigan, your co-payments and deductibles may be larger than at a participating facility. Note: There may be differences in insurance participation between your doctor and the hospital.

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What is an EOB / what does it stand for?
It stands for "Explanation of Benefits." An EOB shows how your insurance company processed your claim and contains information on co-pays, deductibles or non-covered services. EOBs should be kept for future reference.

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