My Story: Insurance Mistakes

contributed by Holly

Over the years, my husband has literally saved us thousands of dollars by questioning most of our health insurance bills. Health insurance covers a portion of our medical expenses. We pay a small deductible (usually directly to the doctor). Weeks later a statement arrives in the mail to notify us how much we owe after insurance. Often, these bills are completely baffling to us.

Recently, one of our sons needed a full set of dental X-rays for his evaluation for braces. The orthodontist offered to run a set in his office. When I questioned the expense of this, he agreed that (if we hadn't had a set run by our dentist) it would probably be covered by our insurance. So off we set to do this.

I paid the $18 deductible to our dentist for the X-rays. When the bill arrived from insurance, it stated that we would have to pay for it, since we had had one run within the past year (which we had not). It was almost $100. When my husband called the insurance provider to question the charge, they simply said, "Oh that's a mistake. It is covered." Not so much as an apology. We got the feeling they weren't the least bit surprised.

This is just one example of many I could cite in which my husband's questions saved us a lot of money. My advice is to know your insurance plan, save all medical documents, and question everything that appears on your bills. The worst they can do is to tell you it isn't covered. And when you do catch them in the act, you save big bucks.

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