Most of us have experienced that sinking feeling of dread when opening a medical bill we know is going to be too much for us to pay. We wonder how we will ever afford it, if the doctor will want the money from us immediately and in full, and what will happen if a payment cannot be made right away.
Understanding your medical bill is the first step in getting the help you need. When looking at your bill, you should first make sure that it shows a payment from your insurance company. It may say something similar to BCBS Payment or even just Commercial Payment, but by finding this on your bill you can make sure your insurance company was billed before you were. If you do not see a payment like this, then you can immediately call your hospital or physician’s office and make sure they send your claim to your insurance company.
Second, if the bill is still too high, call the hospital or office and find out if they have a financial aid office or someone who handles the accounts of those who are financially unable to pay. Similar to a financial aid office one would find at a college, these personnel can help review one’s record and bill to ensure the billing was correct, and they can also make further adjustments. Sometimes simply proving that one does not make enough money per year to pay a large bill is all it takes to get a bill reduced. This can be done by bringing in copies of pay stubs and simply filling out paperwork provided by the financial aid office.
Making payments is another option one has in regards to paying large medical bills. Simply because a bill is received with a due by date, does not necessarily mean it all has to be paid by then. It’s important for one to call the hospital or office they are indebted to and be honest about their financial situation. Many institutions will set up a payment plan in order to assist their patients.
Ultimately, no billing department wants to send their patients to collections. Always feel free to call and ask for help. By trying these few simple steps, one can stop fearing the mailbox and medical bills and take back their life and money.