Medical bills are a part of our lives because medical emergencies do not happen after prior notice. But they definitely come with an expense that we do not approve of. The impact of surprising medical bills can take a toll on individuals and families, leading to family distress.
In fact, as per the reports generated by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2019, it was stated that about one-quarter of the U.S. adults mentioned that their family member or they themselves had problems with paying the medical bills. Among these people, around 50% stated that medical bills made a significant impact on their families.
Fortunately, to your aid, many Healthcare consumers have a variety of options when it comes to surviving the medical debts.
So, let us delve deeper and understand the ways to medical bill negotiation.
1 Pay Cash Upfront:
Cash payment is always the best way to get upfront discounts. This is because, with cash, the doctors or the billing department eliminates the waiting time and trouble. Whereas, when you pay through credit card, they may be charged with processing fees.
Many hospitals even have specific benefits for cash payment. For instance, if you pay cash upfront within 30 days of being treated, then chances are high of negotiation. You may even get up to 20% or more discount on total expenses.
2 Explore Low-Cost Treatment:
This should be done by every individual who is seeking for significant medical help. Instead of investing in brand-name drugs, go for generic ones. Similarly, choose low-cost medical treatments.
As per the Center for Health System Change and the University of Chicago, it was stated that almost 51% of doctors told their patients about the low-cost treatment’s availability and 41% request the patients for outpatient treatment. The basic notion here is to ask the doctor before settling for something he or she suggested.
3 Scrutinize Your Bill:
Your medical bills are not a part of the gospel. So, you do not have to abide by what it says. The best you can get help negotiating the medical bills is by self-scrutinizing it. Billing errors are prevalent because a doctor may suggest certain procedures but may later cancel it. If you do not evaluate the bill, then you might end up paying for it too.
Also, there might be an error with decimal points or zeros, which can significantly affect the bill. Cross-check the treatments mentioned in the bill and those that were offered to you.
4 Come To Terms With A Payment Plan:
Remember that Hospitals, medical labs or doctors will not forward your bill to the collection agency immediately. This is because the process takes time and money. So, they will come to a point for offering a customized payment plan to you. In the plan,
- Make sure to decide the overall due date. Keep the timeframe comfortable.
- Keep the payment affordable.
- Pay the installment regularly, as stated.
- Make sure to collect the receipts after every payment.
5 Hire A Health Care Advocate:
When it comes to medical bills, everyone from the doctor, billing department to the insurance company is with the hospital. The only person who will contest for you is the medical advocates like ClaimMedic.
Healthcare advocates know the medical industry very well. Plus, they have excellent knowledge of the law. You may not understand what you are entitled to or what medical bills convey. Hiring a medical advocate will help you gain the right knowledge and best negotiation ever.
6 Compare Hospital Costs:
Nowadays, hospitals have become similar to regular shops. Even they have a varying price list for treatment and procedures. When you become proactive and compare the prices, you will come to know what extra you are spending at your trusty doctor.
You can get quotes from multiple hospitals based on CPT (current procedural terminology) to know the pricings of procedures. The HCPCS (Healthcare Common Procedural Coding System) will inform you pricings of medical equipment, supplies or other products.
7 Ask For Help And Be Specific About Your Problems:
Do not shy away from asking what discounts you are entitled to. The possibilities may surprise you. The hospital may have a discount on cash payment. It may offer a senior citizen discount. Also, if there is any availability of charity, then that can help you too.
Also, never shy away from stating your problem that is leading to a financial crisis. The customer care representative may offer you the best payment plan.
Bill sizes vary. Keep in mind that, no matter what size your bill is, always make sure to clear them through one or other means. Avoiding the bill will only backfire on you. It will lead to incurring additional debt along with interest charges and collection fees. Plus, it will also hurt your credit score. Thus, preventing you from borrowing money in the future.
Use either one of the tips, as we mentioned in this blog. They will help negotiating medical bills for good.