Money Management: 4 Tips for Negotiating Medical Bills
Need help with medical bills? We will be featuring advice, tips, and tricks in the Money Management blog series. If you've ever wondered how to save money on medical bills then this series is for you.
The following post from our friends at CoPatient gives you quick and simple tips to help make sure you're not overpaying for your treatment.
CoPatient is experienced in advising patients on how to manage and minimize healthcare expenses. Backed by crowd-sourced data, CoPatient creates a tech-driven solution to identify billing errors and overcharges and provides personal "Patient Advocates" to help people start saving money right away.
4 Tips for Negotiating Medical Bills
Medical bills are not only confusing and frustrating, but they can leave you in debt. Fortunately, there is something you can do about it. A lot of people don’t know that you can negotiate your medical bills, but it is possible especially if you can prove that the hospital billing office has made an error, which occurs quite often. So, what’s the best way to go about negotiating medical bills? Here are a few tips:
Keep all of your records.
This one is extremely important for a few reasons. Quite often, you will receive multiple bills from the same visit, so if you throw one away and then receive another, it will be harder to figure out the differences between the two bills. You could be sent duplicate copies of the bill or something that says something completely different than the first. It’s important to call and request an itemized bill so you know exactly what you’re being charged for.
Review your bills.
Errors and overcharges are found on over 80% of the bills that we review. So before you pay, make sure you’re checking your bill to make sure it accurately reflects the procedure(s) that you had done. If it doesn’t, call the billing office.
Know the facts.
Did you visit an out-of-network doctor? Does your insurance cover any of the visit? Do you know the average price for the procedure you had? All of these things are crucial pieces of information that you must know before trying to negotiate your medical bills. If you call your billing office with the facts, you’re more likely to get through to them than if you say you think you were charged incorrectly.
Consider your options.
When you’re negotiating your medical bills, you have a couple of options. Sometimes medical billing offices will offer a discount if you can pay your bill in one lump sum. Or, you can ask about a payment plan. If you are never behind on your payment plan, you could re-negotiate again at a later date and ask for smaller payments or for them to forgive the bill completely. Another option is to hire an expert medical billing advocate to handle the negotiation for you.
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