Medical Dispute ProtectionFri 03 March 2017 by Etsuko
Medical bills are some of the highest bills we can acquire in our lives, and it's just to stay alive or get medicine. They can go through the roof and it doesn't matter what your financial situation is, sadly. Did you recently need to stay in the hospital or know someone who did, and they or you feel like you were seriously overcharged? Well, here are some ways to protect yourself or your family:
Keep Track Of Your Bills
Get all of your bills together and keep track of every one of them. There will be different bills for different services, so pay attention to what everything is for. Some will be from the ambulance (if you needed one), lab work, x-rays, the doctors, etc. Some bills can have errors and you can be charged for services you didn't receive. And if you had to stay the night and were discharged in the morning, you certainly don't want to pay for a full day.
Dispute The Charges
You can dispute charges for services you didn't receive, medications you already had with you, and things that were included in the cost of staying in a room for a day. You shouldn't be paying for sheets, gloves, gowns, etc.
Try To Negotiate Your Bill
If you don't have the money up front, try speaking to someone to get onto a monthly billing plan. Or you can ask them what amount you can pay in full all at once if it's a discounted price. There are sites you can go to that show how much other hospitals charge for what you were billed for, like clearhealthcosts.com, where you can look at each state.
Watch Your Health Insurance Coverage
Some bills could be rejected from your health insurer, or even medications, so you can appeal their decision. If you feel they should be covering you more, don't hesitate to call them on it, because sometimes they will cover what they rejected earlier. If that fails, find out if you're eligible for financial assistance from the hospital.
You Might Have To Hire A Lawyer
If everything gets too overwhelming or you truly don't know what to do, but you feel something isn't right, you might have to hire someone. You shouldn't have to pay any fees upfront because they will take a portion of however much money they saved you, once they are successful.
If All Else Fails, Look For Help Elsewhere
You know those sites people go to to see if people will help them pay for something? It's pretty amazing, and there are multiple sites that do this, like fundrazr.com, for example. Family, friends, and strangers can give whatever they can by using a credit card or Paypal.
In conclusion, try to do everything you can to reduce your bill and pay it, even if it's monthly. And do it in a somewhat quick manner or it will be sent to a collection agency and then give you bad credit. On top of THAT, they can charge you interest on the debt, which is a pretty vile thing for them to do. Do everything in your power to not let that happen, if you can. Good luck!