'No Cash' Policy Starts in May

April 24, 2013

You'll need to use a bank card or personal check to make payments at Group Health starting in May. The cashless policy starts May 1 in Spokane and May 15 for all other Group Health clinics, pharmacies, and facilities.

This change is part of our effort to reduce non-medical, overhead costs. As the result of a successful pilot project in Puyallup and Tacoma last fall, we'll stop taking cash payments for services and products. This includes copays and other cost shares members may owe at appointments in Group Health Medical Centers locations.

"We were surprised and very pleased that the pilot went so smoothly for members and staff alike," said Cynthia Niver, associate director of Cash Assurance and Financial Accounting. "Nearly everyone understood, and most people had either a bank card or their checkbook with them to make the payment. There are also low cost or no cost pre-paid debit cards available for people who don't have a bank account."

Group Health accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express cards. Personal checks will continue to be welcome, but they will be scanned as an electronic debit, the same way checks are handled by many retailers.

Niver said the no-cash policy applies anywhere Group Health takes payments directly from a member, including Behavioral Health, Eye Care, Hearing Centers, and all medical centers and pharmacies.

To learn more about payment options, see Billing Statements and Payment.