Nobody is excited to see a $300 bill in their account. These bills can put a lot of stress on yourself as well as your wallet. According to some data, about 61% of Americans receive unexpected medical bills, and about 37% of Americans have paid the bills without any questions. That’s a huge number! And it’s unfair to those who have paid bills they should not have to pay. It leads us to wonder why do we get unexpected medical bills, and how do we deal them?
c aUnexpected medical bills are ones you think your insurance company covers, but don’t. This can be pretty upsetting. We’ll cover everything you need to know to prevent this from happening to you.
The most common types of unexpected bills:
- Out-of-network hospital visit
- Out-of-network care in an in-network hospital
- Uncovered lab or test
- Ambulance transport
- Observational visit instead of being an admitted patient
- Emergency room visit
- Dental related procedure
- Your provider is no longer in your insurer’s network
- Billing errors/fraud
- Medical identity theft
Unfortunately, when people face these costs, they rarely check their bill, and just pay it. If they spent some time to check their bills, they would have been able to avoid paying the bill.
How to Avoid Unexpected Medical Bills?
Make sure your health insurance plan covers everything you need and want. If it does not, you will need to find a new plan. I would talk with your insurance carrier and doctor asking if there is any way to lower costs while still meeting your needs.
What should I do if I already got an unexpected medical bill?
Visit your health insurance company’s website and find the specific charge and compare that to your bill. Your health insurance plan will have information related to your bill such as deductible, coinsurance, and other aspects specifics about your coverage. This will help you understand the bill so when you contact your insurance carrier or doctor’s billing department you will understand the medical expense more. When handling these unexpected medical bills, it is best to contact your insurance provider to understand why it was not covered. It is always good to double check. If the situation still doesn’t feel right, call your doctor’s office to make sure the medical expense was billed correctly.
Saving money through the insurance company:
- Call provider directly to make sure the providers, including contractors, are in-network
- Contact the insurance
- File an appeal with the insurance company
- Notify your state’s insurance department
- Make sure the provider is in-network before the appointment
- Check that the hospital is in-network
Saving money at the hospital and with your doctor:
- Talk with your doctor to negotiate the medical bill
- Keep detailed records
- Communicate and negotiate with your care providers and doctors to double-check the bill
- Ask for a discount or payment plan
- Find financial aid support
- Use reduced price programs
For any more questions, please feel free to reach out via phone or email. We love to help you with your insurance needs!