Must-take Actions When You Receive a Medical Bill

by Mike on December 16, 2016

Must-take Actions When You Receive a Medical Bill

A large medical bill can be devastating, even when you have decent health insurance. Anything from having a baby to getting in an accident could leave you with a significant chunk of money to pay. However, before you stump up the cash for any bills you receive, there are some important things you should do. You don’t want to end up paying money that you don’t have to pay. It’s easy for a mistake to be made on your bill, for example. The people who handle medical bills are humans, after all, and can make mistakes. It might also be someone else’s responsibility to help you pay for your medical expenses. To make sure you don’t have to struggle to pay, make sure you do the following things.

Check the Bill Carefully

The first thing you should do when you receive a medical bill is to check it carefully. You should be able to see an itemized list of all the treatments and services you received. Some of them might be a bit of a mystery at first, but you can contact the medical provider to clarify them. It’s important to check each bill over very carefully. It’s much easier than you might think for someone to put in the wrong code or add on a treatment that you didn’t receive. If something seems off, don’t just accept it and pay it anyway.

There might be some things that are perhaps technically correct per the provider’s policy but that you don’t want to pay. For example, maybe you’re discharged in the morning from the hospital but charged for the whole day. You can argue this sort of thing, along with anything that definitely shouldn’t be on your bill. Another thing to watch out for is small charges for supplies, such as sheets or gowns. These things should be factored into the cost of your treatment, not treated as extras.

Is Someone Else Liable?

When you consider your medical bill, it’s worth considering whether it’s really you who should pay. Of course, you have your insurance to cover some of the expenses. But there are a number of circumstances when even your insurance provider might want someone else to pay. If you had an accident or someone else was responsible for an illness or injury you suffered, it may be another party who needs to pay your costs. If you think this might be the case, you can get advice from a law firm to see if you’re correct. It might be that your employee needs to pay, or perhaps a business or an individual who may have contributed to your illness or injury. Just remember that there is no guarantee that you have a solid case.

Getting in Touch with Your Insurance

It pays to be familiar with what your medical insurance will and won’t cover. Your insurance provider might refuse to pay for something due to its expense. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get them to pay for a specific drug or treatment. If you think they should be paying more, you should find out how to appeal their decision. Don’t assume that their first decision is the final one. Insurers will often change their minds and decide that they will pay for something after all. So if you think they should be covering something they’re not, get in touch to voice your objections. Make sure you keep bills and any other relevant paperwork so that you have evidence.

Speak to the Hospital/Medical Provider medical-payments

As well as getting in touch with your insurer, it’s also a good idea to speak to the hospital or other medical provider. There are many occasions when you will be able to negotiate the amount you have to pay or how you pay it. Many establishments will allow you to work out a payment plan so that you can make a bill more manageable. If you want to pay it off as quickly as possible, you might also be able to get a discount for paying the whole bill in one payment. If you have the time, energy and confidence, you can also do some serious negotiating. For example, you can research costs from similar medical providers in the area and use them to try and negotiate your bill down to a lower price. You can also try using Medicare rates as a guide to give you an idea of how much you could reduce your bill.

Hire an Advocate

Trying to sort out a medical bill can be extremely stressful. You need to take care of it as soon as possible, but it’s not something you want to do if you’ve just been in the hospital. You might still be ill or dealing with an injury, and you probably don’t want the added stress. Sometimes, the support of friends or family members is enough to make it easier. However, if you find it difficult, you could consider hiring a professional. Patient advocates and medical billing advocates have special skill sets to help you fight unfair bills. Of course, you will need to pay for their services, but they won’t charge upfront. They usually charge a percentage of what you save, so you’ll still have saved money after paying them.

Paying the Bill

Once you’ve worked out how much you need to pay out of pocket, you need to know how you’re going to do it. Some people might be eligible for financial assistance from the hospital if they need help paying. However, there are other ways to pay too. Of course, your savings should be the first funds you use to pay. But if they aren’t enough, you need to explore other avenues. Many people are choosing to use crowdfunding to ask people to contribute to their bills. It can be a successful method if you use the right website and can create a good campaign.
Dealing with medical bills can cause you stress, but there are ways to make it easier. If you can, try to be prepared before you have reason to receive a bill.

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