Second, you should know if your insurance covers your treatment. If your procedure
falls into a gray area, you should submit letters and official paperwork from providers,
including referrals that explain why the treatment was necessary.
Third, remember you always have an opportunity to negotiate down the charges. The
total charges that appear on your medical bill have no relationship to what the provider
will accept as payment in full. Health care providers
bill everyone the same amount, from Medicare to private insurers to the uninsured. However,
the full charges that appear on your bill are much higher than the provider’s actual
costs. The Government and private insurers negotiate a
reduced price for services. Here’s an idea to consider
– start by asking your provider how much Medicare would pay for a procedure similar
to yours. Using this information, you should talk to the
CFO or billing manager and ask for a reduction to the provider’s actual cost, plus
25%. By the way, doctors have also suggested patients
without insurance try this approach.
Fourth, hire an expert to help you review and appeal your medical bills. If your medical
bills are complicated and large, you can hire a medical billing review service.
Source: Elizabeth Ody, “Some simple steps to keep control of medical bills,” Premium
Health News Service, September 1, 2008.