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Even when you have medical insurance, you can still end up facing big medical bills. Your insurance might refuse to cover some expenses. Some insurance requires you to pay toward the cost of your medical care before they will help. Receiving a big bill can be pretty devastating. Working out what you should do isn’t easy when the large numbers can send you into a tailspin. Although it might make you panic, there are ways that you can deal with the medical costs that you’ve been left with. It might all seem a bit daunting, but when you have some key strategies that you can use to reduce and tackle large medical bills, it can make everything easier to manage.
Correct Billing Errors
The first thing to do when you have a big medical bill is check that there aren’t any errors. There can sometimes be mistakes in what you’re charged for, so it’s always smart to double-check that you’re not being asked to pay something that you don’t owe. Be sure to ask for an itemized bill so that you get a clear list of exactly what it is that you are paying for. This can be enough to get your bill lowered if they realize that you’re being charged for things erroneously. You can also take a look over your bill and see if there’s anything that shouldn’t be there. When I had back surgery 5+ years ago, I realized from the itemized bill that the anesthesiologist was actually not in network after the fact. Luckily,my insurance and the hospital worked it out that this person would be considered in network afterall and that saved me about $500-1000!
Get in Touch with the Billing Office
It pays to form a relationship with the billing office at the hospital or doctor’s office. Their finance department or billing staff are dedicated to working with patients to handle their bills. If you have any questions or concerns, asking them can clear a lot of things up. You can schedule an appointment with them to discuss your bills and make sure you’re clear about what you owe. They can go over your bill with you, explain what your health insurance covers, and even help you to use other resources so you can make the most of your insurance.
Get Legal Help
Sometimes, the only way to deal with a big medical bill may be to get some legal help. This is an especially good idea if you have bills due to an accident or an illness that you think was caused by someone else’s negligence. You can find attorneys who specialize in car accident cases, workers compensation cases, and other situations where it could be someone else’s responsibility to pay your medical bills. A legal case could be a smart idea if you’re unable to pay your bills yourself. Many lawyers will offer a free consultation so that you can see if you have a case.
Ask for a Payment Plan
Working out a payment plan can help to make your medical bills a lot more manageable. If you speak to the finance office about your bill, they can most likely ensure you have a manageable payment plan worked out for you. They want to know that you can pay your bill and if the best way of making sure that happens is by being more flexible with how it’s paid, they usually will be happy to get something sorted out. You can get a payment plan that works for your budget.
Challenge Your Insurer
There are some occasions when it makes sense to try and challenge your insurance provider. If you think that they should be covering something that they are refusing to pay for, challenging your insurer could work out for you. Of course, it’s helpful if you’re able to provide evidence and good reasoning for why you think that your insurance should be paying for something. Get familiar with your policy documents, as well as your medical bills. This will help to put you in a good position for arguing your case.
Hire Someone to Help
You don’t necessarily have to face medical bills on your own. There are certain professionals whose job is to help you with your bills. Billing advocates are able to help you negotiate your payments, reduce billing amounts and make your bills more affordable. Many of these advocates do also cost money too, which is a downside. However, if they are able to successfully reduce your bills, you could save money overall even if you have to pay them in the end.
When you have to deal with expensive medical bills, be sure to check how to make them more affordable before you pay for anything.
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