Visiting the hospital means that you need medical care of some kind whether it is a procedure, or just prescribed medicine to help your body. But once you feel better or are done with treatments, the medical bills start coming.
It is no surprise that some bills are expensive depending on the procedure and course of action. However, you might feel scared about whether you can pay the price that your hospital is charging you. High-price bills are a danger to your pocket, so if you cannot afford them, is there another way?
Luckily, there is a simple method. Start negotiating your medical bills! This is a great way to lower the price of your treatment. With the help of some documentation and tips presented in this article, you can free yourself from any doubts. Keep reading to find out!
What is an Explanation of Benefits?
An Explanation of Benefits (EOB) is a report that lets you know the type of treatment you received and how much you will need to pay. You do not have to pay for this, as the EOB is not a bill. Your insurance company will send you this after they cover a certain amount of the charge.
The EOB is a statement that will help you to confirm the amount you owe to your doctor. When you receive the medical bills, compare it to what it says on your EOB, and if it is the same, then it is what you need to pay.
It is the first step to help you negotiate the amount of money because if you need any information about the services you received, this will help.
If you do not receive an EOB, make a claim to your insurance company. Do not pay the medical bills first, wait until your EOB arrives and you can check if the amount you owe is correct.
If you need more information about what an Explanation of Benefits can do, you can click here to visit the Cigna website.
Tips to help you negotiate your medical bills
Before any procedure starts, ask prices and necessities
Do not rush into doing a medical treatment if it is not an emergency. During your visit to the hospital, start asking questions about how the procedure will work or if it is important to do it now depending on your condition.
You could also ask for help in the hospital’s billing department. Tell them about your situation, get information about the cost of the operation, check if there is a special payment plan or assistance, and know how much you can afford. They will decide if they can reduce the fee or not.
If you have insurance, review what is available
Your health insurer can also help you with the payment of medical bills. You need to know how much they can cover and what are the benefits of it. For example, a type of benefit is an in-network provider.
This is when your health care provider is willing to make a contract with your insurer so that you can get a discount on the procedures. This option can save a lot of money, so check if your insurance can do this first, and talk with your doctor about it.
➡LEARN MORE: What to do When Health Insurance Denies a Payment
Check for any errors in your bills
This is a common situation, where your hospital charges you with extra things that you did not ask for. That is why you should request an itemized bill first, and then compare it with your EOB.
If you find an incorrect code, patient information, or something that is not similar between the two documents, call your health care provider and tell them the inconvenience. That way they can charge you the correct amount.
Try to establish a payment plan
If you cannot pay all of your medical bills at the moment, then propose them to pay in a specific period of time. Talk with your health care provider and discuss how much you can afford to pay every month for example.
They might ask you to put more on the payments, but simply tell them you cannot go any higher. Prepare a realistic payment plan and do not agree on paying more, this will only make things worse for you.
Check if you are eligible for Medicaid
Finally, if you do not have insurance to help you with, you could see the eligibility for Medicaid. If not, you can search with your health care providers if there is an option for people without insurance that will help you to pay your medical bills.