Get Your Hospital Bill Right
by Lauren Romano
Get Your Hospital Bill Right
Saving Money During a Hospital Visit
Paying for a Medical Emergency
Hospital bills can be an absolute nightmare. They catch you at your worst time, when you're feeling sick, miserable and you can't deal with any more stress. It doesn't help when you realize that you're being charged more than you should be. Forget about overpaying on hospital bills, here are some simple ways to prevent overpaying.
Bring someone with you to the hospital. Whether you are in the hospital for a few hours or for a few days, you need someone with you to support you and help to keep track of what procedures and medications you are getting. During a hospital visit, I had a friend keep track of everything by asking the nurse and doctors questions about what they were doing and what they were giving me. That list proved handy when I realized I was charged thousands of dollars for a procedure I never received.
Get an itemized hospital bill and don't accept anything less. I received my hospital bill with nothing more than the dates I was at the hospital and how much I owed. I called up and asked for a completely itemized bill so that I would be able to review everything. How are you supposed to know if you're being overcharged if you can't see what they're charging you for?
Go over your hospital bill with a fine tooth comb and sound mind. Compare the bill to the list of procedures that you had done and medications that you received. Make sure to do this when you are wide awake and fully prepared to do it. The last thing you should do is review the bill after a long, hard day when your thoughts could be scattered. You could end up skipping over a charge that you shouldn't have in the first place.
Don't hesitate to ask questions about what you don't understand. If you see something on the hospital bill that is abbreviated or just a long medical term that you can't comprehend, don't hesitate to call and ask what it is. You have every right to thoroughly know what you're paying for. If you aren't satisfied with the answers that you are getting, ask to speak to a supervisor.
Ask to negotiate your bill. You would be surprised at how just asking the hospital to negotiate can get a reduction in your bill. Hospitals want their money and they don't want to send you to collection. Otherwise, the collection agency gets a piece of their payment. Some hospitals will be more then willing to help you out. I negotiated quite a bit off my bill, but only because I wasn't afraid to ask. It's your money and you have a right to ask them to work something out.
There is no excuse for overpaying on your hospital bill. Medical expenses cost enough that you shouldn't have to pay more than you have to. You are the patient, and you have every right to fight for what you deserve.
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor: Click Here
Prices keep rising while my income remains stagnant and I worry I am heading for debt trouble. Tell us: Yes, I think I am heading for debt trouble and could use some help! or No, I am not in debt trouble but I am always looking for new ways to help keep my budget on track!
More Money-Saving Lifestyle Tips
- Reap the rewards of off-season travel
- 5 things to sell on eBay instead of at a yard sale
- 20 ways to have a less expensive more meaningful wedding
- 4 steps to a simpler (and more frugal) life
- 6 tips for a fabulously free vacation
- Secrets to living luxuriously for less
- Saving-money secrets of the rich and frugal
- This week's Readers' Tips