Here are 7 excellent steps experts recommend you take if you are faced with a hefty hospital bill:
1. Get organized. It is imperative you keep track of your bills in an orderly fashion. If you do not organize your bills, you might lose them, or forget they even exist. In some instances, your bills will not be delivered from the hospital. It is possible they will be distributed by a separate service provider or your insurance company. Potential ways to strategize include creating a database (e.g. spreadsheet) for your bills, or calling the hospital-billing department.
2. Review your bills. It is not uncommon for medical bills to contain errors or accidentally overcharge you. Ensure the listed charges accurately depict what you actually owe, and if you brought your medications with you, ensure you are not being charged for these. Finally, make sure you understand which expenses your insurance company will cover, and which they will not.
3. Challenge the decisions your health insurance provider makes (when reasonable). Record the expenses your insurance provider rejects due to a lack of coverage. If you believe they are underpaying, do not hesitate to appeal. Insurance providers ultimately prioritize client satisfaction, and will frequently overturn their prior decisions if it is brought to their attention.
4. Negotiate. As soon as you know how much you are expected to pay, it is possible you can convince your hospital to offer you special deals. In the case you would like extra time to make your payment, hospitals very infrequently deny requests for extensions. On the other hand, you can plea for discounts given you pay all expenses up front. Furthermore, if you believe your bill is excessively high, research other hospital rates and compare yours to the projected prices you find. If you find other hospitals charge far less for the same procedures, you may be able to address your hospital with this information and request lower fees. Hospitals dislike their patients thinking other hospitals are less expensive, for they fear losing business.
5. Hire a professional. Given the complicated legal nature of medical bills, it might be in your best interest to hire an attorney. Depending on the extent of your concerns, perhaps you might also consider hiring a medical-billing advocate. These types of professionals typically charge 30% of what they save you, but this varies between professionals.
6. Get hospital financial assistance. You might be eligible for financial aid from your hospital. You may be required to apply for Medicaid, and you might be rejected, but you can potentially receive aid from your hospital after this process.
7. Explore alternative fundraising. One potential avenue for you to earn the money required to pay your medical bills is asking for donations through crowdfunding websites. You may describe your situation on the site, and then ask your friends, family, and even strangers for donations. Donors typically pay either with their credit or debit cards, or through online money transferring sites like PayPal.
Experts recommend you follow these 7 steps in order to handle your hefty hospital bills more effectively. These steps likely will not eliminate the burden, but they will certainly reduce your struggles overall!