It’s always in your best interest to deal with hospital, ambulance, and doctor bills as quickly as you can. Unfortunately, it isn’t always so simple because some medical bills can get quite high, and paying for them isn’t an easy task. When bills get high enough, you could consider trying to negotiate your bills in order to get them to cost less. When negotiating medical bills, here are tips you’ll want to remember.
Know Your Explanation of Benefits
You should be mailed your explanation of benefits (EOB) 2-4 weeks after seeing your doctor. Your EOB will provide an overview of the amount of money you were charged for the services provided and the reasons for providing those services.
If your insurance provider doesn’t send you an EOB, call to request one. Understand that an explanation of benefits is similar to a receipt rather than an actual medical bill, so don’t worry if you get a few EOBs from various specialists if you see them in one visit.
Lastly, make sure your EOB lines up with your medical bill. This will be good for when you’re trying to confirm the accuracy of your bill. Coding mistakes are within the realm of possibility, so you want to be sure everything is correct, so you don’t pay for services you weren’t provided.
Understand Who is Billing You
You want to know who sent your bill because it isn’t automatically going to be the medical provider who makes it. Sometimes, your doctor creates the bills, but in some instances, it could be a third-party company instead.
- Third-Party Companies: Sometimes, medical providers will outsource the collection of medical bills to a third-party medical billing company. These companies are helpful for handling doctors’ financial affairs. When getting care for patients with chronic illnesses, multiple specialists are involved, and they don’t bill by themselves, which is why billing gets outsourced to these companies.
- Internal Billing Department: In many cases, your provider will be the one handling your medical bill. Some providers have billing departments of their own, which helps because it’s easy for internal billers to engage with providers.
Make Sure Every Stakeholder Knows What’s Happening
When you get your EOB from your insurer, and you know the reason behind every payment you owe, you should make every stakeholder aware that you’re trying to sort out all of your payment arrangements. Make sure you get in touch with all of the following stakeholders:
- The one who is billing you
- Your bill’s source
- Charity care providers with whom you are working
- Your insurance company
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