t's no big secret that medical bills can be overwhelming when you see all the dollar signs rack up. This is an even huger issue when your funds are low due to unemployment or a low income. However, what's less known is how to combat this slew of charges. Follow these few tips for minimizing your financial worries.
First things first, get the facts straight. What you see on paper usually isn't final, and it's up to you as the patient to confirm the accuracy of the bill. Look over the invoice and contest any discrepancies. If you were charged for staying the whole day when you left in the morning or if you were billed for the medications you brought, speak up and consult the hospital help desk.
There are other things you can bring up as you negotiate. Look up average prices for a procedure. Consult a search engine and type in the name of the procedure as well as the average list price for self-pay patients, or negotiated national average price if you still have insurance.
Talk to a medical billing manager since this is the individual who has the power to help you with what you wish to negotiate. You can also try the phone numbers that are listed on the bills so you may talk to a service provider.
Be aggressive in your negotiations. You can ask for a high sum discount. Remember that many people have received a 15-20% discount simply by asking for it when they paid in cash!
You may not get your first request, but starting high will result in a lower discount that is still reasonable. Keep in mind that most hospitals would rather have a bill cleared than have to go through the pains of collecting later on.
Others may be in your financial situation as well, so it's no surprise that there are assistance programs for those with low incomes or money-related hardships. Directly contact the help desk at the hospital. You may also reach out to your local or state government. Consider calling up a social service agency or government representative for assistance.
Think of the people in your community as well as family and friends who would be willing to help you during this time of need. Consider going through a crowdfunding website, which will advertise your cause on social media and give you a good chunk of the donations. Follow these suggestions for using a crowdfunding site.
While hospital bills are a huge burden, there are multiple ways to offset the costs if you consult these tips and tricks.