What would you do if after getting medical treatment from a medical facility, you are presented with a four, five or even six-figure medical bill? This may be devastating to most people, and if they have no idea of how to fight and pay a huge medical bill,then they are likely to bear the burden for many years as they try to figure out how to pay the debt. However, all is not lost, because it is possible to have the bills lowered to something reasonable and within your financial might.
But before we delve into the specifics, there are two good things you should know about fighting huge medical bills. They are as follows-:
- With the advent of the internet, you can easily compare the pricing tables of different hospitals for various services. This helps the prices remain competitive among the providers, and you could also use this information to negotiate for lower rates when the need arises.
- Currently, more and more hospitals are opening up to negotiations with patients, and their rate is not necessarily cast on stone. You can always ask for discounts and a good number of doctors and facilities would be willing to lower the rates for you.
Why it is never easy to dispute hospital fees
The process of challenging hospital bills that are above the rooftop is never easy. To begin with, it requires a lot of work and good knowledge of the hospital procedures to track down what is charged on the medical bill. Secondly, it can be aggravating and frustrating to confront the hospital’s billing department, especially if you are the patient who has been slapped with the huge bills.
And don’t forget that if you need to get the financial relief, then you will have to work very fast. You must begin immediately since you shall have lost all chances of a relief if you wait after six to nine months after the bills are due. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, here are some of the tips experts recommend that you should use to fight hefty hospital bills.
Once you get the first medical bill, it is important to be meticulous and keep very good records of any other bill you will receive. There could be many bills and you may want to create a spreadsheet to help with the organization so that you can keep an eye on each bill with a lot of details, including the date, item billed and the amount billed. You should also think about being proactive by calling the hospitals about the bills you may have not yet received, yet you know you will soon be getting them. For example, if you used their ambulance services to get to the hospital yet you haven’t seen this billed anywhere, you can call in advance and make note of the bill you are to expect.
Review the bills thoroughly
It is not strange for hospital bills to contain overcharges and errors and if you are not careful, these are some of the things that could end up inflating the bill. This is why it makes a lot of sense to go through the bills with a fine tooth comb so that you identify any errors or overcharges. A good example of an error or overcharge is if you are discharged in the morning, but the bill contains a full-daily room rate for the day of your discharge. And if you carried your own medication, check the bill to ensure the hospital doesn’t charge for them yet they did not provide them.
Additionally, should you find extra charges for items considered as routine supplies such as sheets, gloves, or gowns, don’t hesitate to dispute such. This is because such items should always be factored in with the daily room charges simply because they are part of the costs the hospital incurs in doing business.
Question your health insurance’s decision if you have to
Keep a very good record of all the bills your health insurance company will turn down claiming that your policy did not cover such the drugs or procedures in question. If you think that the insurance company is not justified to make such a decision, don’t be afraid to appeal the decision. In most cases, the insurance companies are very well aware of what they are doing, and if you stand your ground, they will happily overturn their earlier decision and cover some or all of the bills they had earlier on rejected.
Negotiate any bill you know you will pay out of pocket
If there are certain bills you know you will pay out a pocket, don’t hesitate to negotiate for a discount. Hospitals and doctors are nowadays more open to negotiating bills with patients and they will likely give you a discount if you ask for or if you are willing to pay the amount in question in cash. Again, if you know you may need time to clear the bill, negotiate with the hospital and agree on a favorable payment plan.
Also, use the internet to find the costs of the procedures from local hospitals and if you find that the hospital is asking for too much money, you can use this as a bargaining chip to tell that they are overcharging you. Hospitals care so much about their image and if you find them with their pants down, they will likely give you some very nice discounts.
Consider settlement loans
If you have incurred a huge medical bill due to procedure and drugs for an accident you suffered, then you can always consider going for settlement loans as a source of funds to help clear the bill. Settlement loans are loans advanced to you by legal funding companies and they become due when your case is settled. For you to go for them, however, you must have your case pending in court, and be working with a competent injury attorney to argue your case. The rates may be relatively high, but when you qualify for one, you will not worry about repaying it unless your case is the settlement. If your case doesn’t have a positive settlement, you won’t have to repay the loan.