Patient Messaging

Messaging your doctor is a convenient way to get medical advice.

Most messages to your health care team are and will remain free.

However, starting Sept. 12, 2023, responses that require medical expertise and more than five minutes of your health care provider’s time may be billed to your insurance.

Making this change allows us to continue to provide you with cost-effective extraordinary care that may otherwise have to be done through a more expensive in-person or telehealth appointment.

Choose one of these options to learn more:

Which messages may be billed?
How much will it cost?
Which messages will remain free?
Do insurance companies cover telehealth?
How do I send a message?

What messages may be billed to my insurance?

While most messages will remain free, responses that need more than five minutes of your provider’s time and medical expertise may be billed.  

Examples of the types of messages that may be billed include:

  • New symptoms that require medical assessment or referral 
  • Changes to your medications 
  • Check-ups on your chronic condition 
  • Flare-up or change in your chronic condition 
  • Request to complete a medical form 

What is the cost of medical advice through messages?

If your message is billed to your insurance, you may not be charged or you may see a low out-of-pocket cost. Depending on your insurer, the costs may be covered, or you may receive a bill that may represent a copay, coinsurance or deductible. Here are a few examples of what you can expect: 


Insurance plan Cost of medical advice message
Medicare For most patients, the out-of-pocket cost is $11 to $21.
Nebraska Medicaid No out-of-pocket costs
Private insurance For most patients with private insurance, the average out-of-pocket cost is $24.
Other insurance Please contact your insurance provider for more detailed information.
No insurance For most patients, the average out-of-pocket cost is $24.


Contact your insurer to learn more about your out-of-pocket cost for a medical advice message. You can also use the One Chart | Patient Estimates feature to calculate the approximate cost. If your plan is out-of-network with Nebraska Medicine, you can learn more about billing here

What messages will remain free?

Only some messages you send to your provider will be billed to your insurance. If your message doesn’t require medical expertise or more than five minutes of your health care provider's time, it won’t cost you anything. 

Examples of the types of messages that won’t be billed to insurance:

  • Requesting a prescription refill 
  • Scheduling an appointment 
  • Message that leads to an appointment 
  • Follow-up care related to a recent surgery (within the past 90 days)
  • Update for your doctor when no response is needed 
  • Messages that take only a few minutes to answer 
  • Messages initiated by your care team 

What types of telehealth does insurance cover?

Telehealth options have made connecting with your doctor easy and convenient. Insurance companies have recognized that virtual care is a valid and important way for patients to receive care. Here are some of the virtual options your insurance may cover:

  • E-Visits
  • Video visits
  • Phone call visits
  • Medical advice messages

Most messages you send your provider are quick to answer and won’t be billed to your insurance. Requests that take extra time and medical expertise are considered a form of telehealth. Those services will be billed to your insurance for payment.

How to get started with messaging

Log in to the Nebraska Medicine app or the One Chart | Patient portal and select “Messages.” From there, follow the prompts, and you will see a list of providers available to message.

If you don’t have an account, signing up is easy. Download the app, select “Sign up,” or go to the One Chart | Patient login page and click “Request an account.”