Skip to Content

Understanding My Bill

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why am I getting a bill?

If you have insurance coverage, Cottage Health submits a claim to your insurance company and bills you for the portion not covered by insurance. If you believe we do not have correct or complete insurance information, please contact the Cottage Health Business Office at 805-695-2518.

Sometimes your insurance company needs information from you in order to provide us with their payment. Any delays may impact your bill. Please respond to all requests from your insurance company as quickly as possible.

Why am I receiving multiple bills for the same service?

Your Cottage bill includes charges for hospital services, such as your hospital room, nursing staff assistance, use of equipment, pharmacy items and supplies. The physicians who provided care during your stay are not employees of Cottage Health. Because they belong to separate legal entities, they bill separately for their services. This may include emergency physicians, radiologists, pathologists, anesthesiologists, surgeons, assistant surgeons and consulting physicians.

Unfortunately, Cottage Health is unable to answer questions about ambulance or physician billing. Please contact these providers directly for questions about bills you have received from them.

Why did I receive separate bills from my physicians?

By state law, most physicians providing patient care in California are not hospital employees and therefore will bill separately for their services. Cottage Health encourages physician groups to contract with the same insurance companies that we use. However, hospitals cannot obligate physician groups to contract with any insurance company. Some physician groups may not be contracted with a patient’s insurance company. Cottage Health is unable to assist patients with any contractual disputes with a physician’s billing service.

Below is the direct contact information for several physician groups that provide care at our hospitals:

Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital

  • Anesthesia Medical Group of Santa Barbara: 805-682-7751
  • J.P. Blanchard, Inc. (pathology services): 805-650-6519‎
  • Pueblo Radiology Medical Group: 888-678-3256
  • Santa Barbara Radiology: 800-984-7070
  • South Coast Emergency Medical Group: 877-838-9400

Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital

  • Anesthesiology Association Medical Group: 805-967-6353‎
  • Pueblo Radiology Medical Group: 888-678-3256
  • Santa Barbara Radiology: 800-984-7070
  • South Coast Emergency Medical Group: 877-838-9400

Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital

  • EM-1 Care Medical Group (emergency): 800-230-5160
  • Pueblo Radiology Medical Group: 888-678-3256

When will I receive my bill?

Insured Patients

Cottage Health works with your insurance company to ensure your claim is paid. After all other resources for payment have been contacted, you will be billed for the remainder. If you have not received a bill within 60 days after your services, please contact the Cottage Health Business Office at 805-695-2518.

Patients without Insurance

Patients who do not have insurance coverage will receive a bill when services are provided.

Cottage Health is committed to easing the burden of medical costs for our patients. Financial assistance is available for qualifying patients with out-of-pocket financial responsibility. For additional information on our financial assistance policy and application, please visit the Cottage Health Financial Assistance page.

How is my balance calculated?

All hospitals assign gross charges to the services and supplies provided during your hospital stay or outpatient procedure. Cottage Health is committed to serving our community by remaining competitive with these charges, and has increased rates at a much slower pace than the industry standard.

If you have insurance coverage, the gross charges for your services are discounted to a rate based on the specific contract terms between Cottage Health and your insurance company. The balance that you owe is then determined based on your specific insurance plan and the portion of your bill that your insurance company will pay. Your personal responsibility may include a co-payment, deductible or co-insurance.

It is very beneficial to become familiar with the details of the insurance policy you have selected and the benefits your plan provides. For questions or concerns about the payments made by your insurance company, please review your explanation of benefits and contact your insurance company directly.

For patients who do not have insurance coverage, an automatic discount is applied to the gross charges associated with your bill to help ease the financial burden.

What if I can’t afford my bill?

Please contact us immediately if you cannot afford to pay your bill in full. We can help establish a payment plan based on your needs. Financial assistance is also available for qualifying patients with out-of-pocket financial responsibility.

To learn more and apply for this program, please visit the Cottage Health Financial Assistance page.

What is the Cottage Health Payment Policy?

Once payments have been received from your insurance plans, Cottage Health will mail you your first statement with any remaining balance. Payment is due when this statement is received. If you are unable to pay your balance in full, payment plan options are available by contacting the Cottage Health Business Office at 805-695-2518.

How do I know when my claim is paid by insurance?

Your insurance company will send you an explanation of benefits (EOB). This will explain the insurance company’s payment, any contractual adjustments and your financial responsibility, which is determined by your insurance company. Keep all EOBs for your records. If you have not received an EOB after 30 days, contact your insurance company. Your bill from Cottage Health will also note whether your insurance payment has been received.

How do I voice a concern about my bill or the billing process?

As our patient, you are our top priority at Cottage Health. We want to provide you with excellent service throughout every step of your patient experience. For general questions about your bill, please contact the Cottage Health Business Office at 805-695-2518.

If you have a specific billing concern that you would like to discuss directly with our executive leadership team, please email CottageBilling@sbch.org or contact Allison Viramontes, Vice President of Revenue Cycle for Cottage Health, at 805-324-9936.