Paying for Care
We are here to make your payment process as clear and easy to understand as possible. When you come to Houston Methodist, a dedicated financial coordinator will work with you at every stage to ensure you understand all costs related to your care and what costs, if any, you may be responsible for paying.
Please note: We must receive payment in advance for your medical services or an authorization from your insurance provider or sponsoring embassy. If we do not receive your payment or authorization before your scheduled health care services, we cannot provide those services to you.
Care Payment Options
International Health Insurance Coverage
Many of our international patients have some form of international health benefits. It is helpful for both you and your insurance provider if you pre-certify yourself with your insurance company before your visit to Houston, and let them know you are traveling to the U.S. for health care services. We will remind you to do this as well before your visit.
If you have any health information from your referring doctor in your home country, such as medical records and test results, please send it to the appropriate contact for your insurance plan or email us for a secure link. This way, we can send the information to your third-party administrator (TPA).
Delays in authorizations from insurance providers are often the result of the complex nature of international medical care. Obtaining pre-authorization in advance of your visit can help you avoid delays in your care and treatment. Please send us your insurance information as soon as you reach out to schedule health care services from us.
You may have an insurance broker assisting you with your insurance approval and reimbursement process. In the event of delays, your insurance broker may contact your insurance provider to authorize service approvals and payment.
If your home country’s embassy is sponsoring your health care, embassy staff members will contact us with your medical records to find out if one of our doctors can take your case. When we match you with a doctor who can care for you, we will typically schedule an appointment for you one to three months ahead of time.
A week before your arrival in Houston, your embassy will issue a letter of guarantee. This letter states your diagnosis or diagnoses, as well as your treatment plan. The letter also authorizes you to travel to the U.S. for medical services and authorizes us to provide those services to you. The letter should include:
- Address for claim submission
- Contact name and number
- Expected length of time to process payment
- Specific period of time that you are guaranteed
It is possible that you have additional medical conditions beyond those listed in your letter of guarantee that you would like our doctors to treat during your stay in Houston. However, we are only authorized to treat the medical condition or conditions listed in the letter. For example, if you are authorized to come to Houston Methodist to receive transplant care and find that you need treatment from an orthopedic specialist for another injury or condition, our doctors are unable treat this condition without additional authorization from your embassy.
If your Houston Methodist doctor believes you need to receive additional care, we can contact your embassy and ask it to authorize that care. If your embassy does not authorize the care, you or your loved ones may contact the embassy and appeal the decision. If your embassy still denies the additional authorization, we will have to limit your services to those your embassy has authorized. If you choose to continue care without embassy authorization, we will provide you the self-pay cost estimate for payment prior to services.
If you are paying for your care yourself, you will need to pay in advance before we can provide you services. Your financial coordinator and patient liaison will ensure you are aware of this and that you are able to pay for your care. We will provide cost estimates for your care, as well as for any lab tests or diagnostic procedures that you may require before you receive services.
We recommend using our secure payment portal to pay any charges that you are responsible for before you receive health care services from our providers, because you will be able to pay in your local currency. However, if you prefer to pay Houston Methodist directly, our financial coordinators can accept payment from you when you arrive in Houston. We accept the following forms of payment, in U.S. dollars only:
- Credit card
- Wire transfer from your bank
- Traveler’s checks
- Personal checks
Secure International Payment Portal
If you are going to pay for any portion of your care, we encourage you to use our secure international payment portal. This service allows you to pay for your care in your home country’s currency.
You can opt to receive email and text updates at each step, including a confirmation when we have received your payment. You can also create an account to track your payment online 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Follow these steps to use the secure international payment portal:
- Visit the Flywire payment portal.
- Review the payment options provided, and select your preferred method. Options may include bank transfer, debit/credit card in your home currency, electronic payment or other local options.
- Enter the required information to initiate your payment, including your medical record number. We will provide this information in the payment email we send you.
- Follow the instructions provided to send funds to Flywire via your selected method (please note: Depending on your home country, you may have additional local payment options available; please ask your financial coordinator for more information):
- Bank transfer: Follow the provided instructions to send your funds. Depending on your bank, you may make your payment online, in person or over the phone.
- Debit or credit card: Enter your credit card details online to complete your payment in your home currency.