When you eat at restaurants, you probably would never dream of trying to negotiate the bill after receiving it. If you enjoyed the meal, this is especially true. Hospitalization and medical treatments, though, are significantly different than steak and potatoes.
In the U.S., medical debt is the top source of debt collections, surpassing even credit card debt and private student loans. Fortunately, you may have some options for lowering your medical bills even after you have completed treatment.
Scrutinize the bill
Billing managers at hospitals and medical offices regularly make mistakes. You should not have to pay the financial cost of someone else’s error, though. Consequently, you may want to consider scrutinizing each bill you receive. If something seems amiss, you should contact the billing office for more information or an amended bill.
Ask for an itemization
While some medical offices itemize their bills, others do not give you much information about what you are paying. If the bill is not clear, you may want to request an itemization. You also may want to know how much your insurance paid for each item on the bill.
Get some professional help
Because you must juggle work, family, recreation and other obligations, you simply may not have the time to jump through the necessary hoops to lower your medical bills. You also may lack the experience to know where health care providers are likely to budge. Working with a professional negotiator may help you level the playing field.
You should not have to spend the rest of your life paying off medical bills for treatments you needed. Ultimately, with some persistence, you may be able to reduce or eliminate your outstanding medical debt.