If you’re financially minded, you probably know a thing or two about saving money on healthcare already. You’ll know the best way to use your insurance, the preventative measures that will keep you out of the doctor’s office, and how to compare different treatment options. What many people don’t know is that they can save money even after receiving a bill. Here are a few ways to do this and avoid high medical bills piling up…
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Check for Errors
You’d be amazed at the number of medical bills that contain some kind of clerical error. This is especially true when it comes to Medicare claims. The more services you need, the more room there is for error. If you or someone in your family has undergone a particularly long or complicated medical treatment, it’s a good idea to go through your bills and check for any errors that have slipped through the net. If you find that you’ve been charged for something you didn’t receive, you can usually call and have it corrected quickly and easily. A lot of people are intimidated by the idea of auditing their medical bills, but you’re ultimately responsible for making sure all your billing is correct. It always helps to have copies of your records, and an explanation of different benefits from your medical company to weigh up against your bill.
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If you’re experiencing major financial hardship from your medical bill, or you’re on low income, you may qualify for assistance with it. A lot of doctor’s practices and hospitals will run their own program for this, and the staff will be able to give you the information you need. If you don’t qualify or their program can’t help you, they’ll often be able to suggest other resources you can use to get free assistance with a medical bill. Even when you can comfortably afford the bill, if the condition was caused by another entity’s negligence, you can find out about legal assistance through websites like this: Mesotheliomahelp.org. Whatever your situation, there’s usually some program or service that can remove at least some of the financial strain of big medical bills.
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Negotiate with Tenacity
Many people have no idea that their medical bills are negotiable, not only through the doctor’s practice or hospital, but through their insurer as well. Talking to your insurer about this may take a little more effort than persuading a billing manager to correct errors, but it will often be well worth the effort. You might get waved away at first, but keep trying. When emails and phone calls don’t get you the results you’re going for, try writing a formal letter clearly outlining your request for a discounted bill, and requesting help from the right department of an organization. If the charges you’ve received for a recent medical treatment seem somewhat extreme, do a little research and find out what the average cost from other providers is. Bringing this up can often be enough to prompt a major hospital to lower the price for you.