myUCLAhealth Messaging Costs

How to know when a message to your provider will be billed to your insurance, and how much it will cost.

MyChart Messaging Costs for Billing & Insurance purposes at UCLA Health

Medical Advice Through myUCLAhealth Messages

Health care is more virtual than ever before, and people are taking advantage of the quick access to their doctors through online patient portals, such as myUCLAhealth (MyChart). Messaging your provider through MyChart is easy and convenient and can be a great alternative to an in-person or video visit. 

Cost of medical advice delivered through myUCLAhealth messages 

While most messages patients send to providers through myUCLAhealth are processed quickly and never billed to insurance, those that take time and medical expertise are considered a type of virtual care — and are treated as such.

Insurance companies accept virtual care as a legitimate and useful way for people to get medical advice. Health insurance covers many types of virtual care, including:

  • Video visits
  • Phone call visits
  • Medical advice messaging (through myUCLAhealth)
  • Remote patient monitoring programs

Which types of myUCLAhealth messages are billed to insurance?

Providers can answer most myUCLAhealth messages in a few minutes or less, but some require more time and medical expertise. Here’s how to know if your message will be billed:

Free myUCLAhealth MessagesBillable myUCLAhealth Messages
Prescription refill requestA new problem or symptom that needs to be evaluated by a doctor
Appointment requestAdjusting medications 
Message that prompts your doctor to recommend a visitPrescribing a new medication 
Follow-up treatment after a recent operation (within the last 90 days) with exceptions for some surgeriesConducting a chronic disease check-in 
Messages about an issue addressed during a visit in the last seven daysAddressing a flare-up or change in a chronic condition 
Update for your doctor that doesn’t require a response 
Question that takes only a few minutes to answer 

Keep this general rule of thumb in mind: If it takes more than a few minutes for your health care provider to respond to your message, your insurance may be billed. Your insurance will not get billed for a myUCLAhealth message if your message doesn’t require medical advice or it can be answered quickly.

How much do myUCLAhealth messages cost?

If there’s a cost associated with your myUCLAhealth message, the amount you’ll end up paying varies. For some patients, even if a message is billed to insurance, they don’t have to pay anything because their out-of-pocket costs are covered.

Below are common examples of costs based on insurance type:

Type of Insurance Cost of myUCLAhealth Message
Medicare                               Most patients will have no out-of-pocket expenses. The cost for some patients ranges from $3 to $6.
Patients with Medicare Advantage have a $20 co-payment (the cost of an in-person or video visit).
Medi-Cal                                                                                                                         No out-of-pocket costs.
Private Insurance                                                                                           Some patients have copays comparable to those charged for in-person or video visits (usually $10 or $20). If a deductible applies, the full cost (often $75) is charged.

Contact your insurance provider to learn exactly how much you'll have to pay out-of-pocket for a medical advice message.

How do I send a message to my doctor through myUCLAhealth?

Log in to myUCLAhealth (MyChart) using a web browser or the MyChart app. Pick the provider you want to message from a list of your providers. You must be a current patient to message a provider.

Select “Contact my doctor’s office.” Type and send your message.

How to message your provider using myUCLAHealth?

How long does it take to get a response to a myUCLAhealth message?

You can expect a response from your provider within 2 business days

Do not use myUCLAhealth messages for urgent issues. If you need to contact your provider right away, please call the main number for his or her clinic. Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department if you have a medical emergency.

myUCLAhealth is powered by MyChart® licensed from Epic Systems Corporation, © 1999 – 2024.

What should I do if I have a question about a charge?

First, read our billing and health insurance FAQs to see if your question is answered there.

Like other California hospitals, we send separate bills for hospital services and physician services. (For an explanation of which care falls under which service, see making sense of your UCLA Health medical bill.)

Since we bill separately, make sure to contact the appropriate service:

  • Physician services: 310-301-8860 (Monday to Friday: 7 am to 7 pm)
  • Hospital services (Monday to Friday: 7:30 am to 4 pm):

Sign Up for myUCLAhealth

If you want to message your provider through MyChart, you need a myUCLAhealth account. Signing up is easy — follow these steps.