The Things We Pick Up Along the Way

During this time I also made a discovery: You can negotiate medical bills. I got a bill for $2,500, but I didn’t really understand it. So I called the insurance company, who said there was nothing they could do about it. Then I called the hospital. The insurance department at the hospital said they would do some investigating. When they called me back, to my surprise, they’d discovered I had been billed twice for the same surgery and they owed me $250.

Before, I just assumed that if you had something done, you owed the money! It wasn’t until I started questioning things that I realized it was possible to save on medical bills. I also found out that if you prepay your copay, they’ll actually give you a break of 10% off your bill. For a $750 procedure, that’s a big chunk of change.

Our pals at LearnVest have a great story about how a young woman learned to advance her career, save a bunch of money, kick cancer, and have the wedding she and her husband always wanted. It’s inspiring.


4 Comments / Post A Comment

jfruh (#161)

I had to do some PT once that was covered by my insurance with a $40 copay. On THREE SEPARATE OCCASIONS over like five months I got a bill from some Florida-based third-party medical billing company that I owed $40, and in all three cases it was because there was some data entry glitch that resulted in my account not being credited for the copay. All I had to do was call them and they changed the charges but I’m sure lots of people just look at the bill with the inscrutable small print and wrote a check. And who keeps that money? The PT office? The billing company? The insurance agency?

sintaxis (#2,363)

I also remember reading somewhere that some hospitals will charge for things like a box of tissues but put them under codes/descriptions that make it unlikely that you will ever realize what they are charging for. Also, if you are lucky enough to have someone who can visit and you are well enough to eat outside food, in a lot of places you can refuse the hospital meal and have someone bring you vastly better homemade food.

TARDIStime (#1,633)

@sintaxis *gasp* home made food?
OMG, where is this magical hospital?

TARDIStime (#1,633)

“and then we got to the part in the vows about “in sickness and in health…”

I have something in my eye…

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