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How to Negotiate Your Medical Bills

by Bruce Haring

There are times when you see your medical bill after a hospital stay for a treatment or procedure, and it makes you sick all over again. Unless you pay, there is just no way to make bills vanish. However, there are probably ways that you can reduce the burden that is on you, especially if you ask the right questions. Here is a look at some of the best ways to negotiate your medical bills.

Do not pay right away.

If the hospital asks you to pay your bill as you are leaving, you have the right to refuse. A co-pay may be required by some doctors when you visit them, but the rules are different in hospitals. You have the right to see the final bill before you make payments for anything. If you have health insurance, an explanation of benefits (EOB) will be provided to you by your insurance provider. Because EOBs state that they are not a bill, many people just throw them away. Never do this and examine it carefully in fact. Make sure that you do not pay anything until you have done so.

Make sure you are prepared.

When the EOB is delivered, compare it your insurance and your hospital bill. This will help you make sure that your insurance company provides coverage for what is required. If your hospital bill is not too detailed, you should ask for an itemized bill, complete with CPT codes from the billing manager.

If you do not have health insurance, it means that you will not have an EOB to compare your hospital bill too. However, this does not mean that you cannot negotiate the charges. Talk to the billing manager at the hospital about lowering the charges or finding a charity organization for assistance. If you are a military veteran, you need to request to go to a VA hospital as soon as you can.

Ask if there are discounts.

You may be qualified to get discounts, so make sure that you ask your hospital’s billing manager if you are. These discounts are not always available, but it is worth finding out. If your doctor is part of a certain hospital network, you could be able to get 10 percent off on your medical bill. Keep in mind that you will need to ask about the discount but it is one of the easiest ways to save money on medical bills.

There is also another tactic that you can use to lower your medical bill – charity care program. If it is available to you, it could help you save a large sum of money. Many people qualify for this program and if you do too, you could get as much as 30 percent off on your medical bill. Remember that you need to ask questions if you want to save money.

Familiarize yourself with medical jargon.

When it comes to health care and insurance, there is a lot of jargon that laypeople do not understand. It is important to familiarize yourself with the different medical terms used. People are often afraid to ask what they mean for various reasons. You should never accept your bills at face value. If there is anything in your bill that you do not understand, you should you should ask about it. It will do your wallet world of good.

Not knowing the different medical and insurance terms on your medical bill may result in you spending thousands of more dollars due to the fact that you were unaware of what was covered.

Visit the billing department in the hospital.

Is there an error on your bill that you have spotted? Does it seem like something fishy is going on? Make sure that you do not brush it off and blindly pay your medical bill. If it happens once, it is bound to happen again. You should make it a point to visit the billing department in the hospital in person to sort it out. Another reason to visit the department in person is to talk to the source about your financial situation and why you are having problems with making payments. You may be surprised at what can be worked out.

It is pivotal to know that you can negotiate medical bills and that there are ways to do this. Make sure that you find out how you can negotiate your bills and the best ways to save yourself some money on medical bill costs.

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