Tuesday’s Tip – 4 Ways to Save Money on Medical Bills

Fortunately for us we have only had a few instances where we have had big medical bills.  No matter how big or small, there are ways to save money on your medical bills, you just need to do some work.

1.  Make Sure You Are Not Overcharged

The routine check ups are easy to watch and make sure you aren’t being over charged, but the other things you really do need to pay close attention to.
Every time you go to a doctor you will receive an EOB or Explanation of Benefits.  You will also receive a bill from your doctor, facility or lab.
Match these up and make sure you have not been over charged.  If you don’t understand, make sure you call.

2.  Ask Questions When You Don’t Understand a Billing.

When you have something big come up like your son gets Rat Bite Fever (yep it happened) you will want to start a file folder that you keep on your desk or work area.
When EOBs come in you staple or paperclip them to the bills.  Make sure every thing matches up.
When my son had Rat Bite Fever, we saved $1800 because we asked a lot of questions.  One was a $800 mistake on their part that I caught by matching up my EOBs and bills.
The second saving came from me asking a lot of questions.  Finally I was told that dog bites get an automatic $1000 coverage and since this sounded so similar they gave me the same discount.

The reason I watched my statements so closely was because when my son was in the IV clinic meeting with an Infectious Disease Specialist because he had a fatal disease I was watching closely to everything.  Like when they opened this huge package of medical supplies, dropped this little thing on the ground, then proceeded to open up another huge package to replace that one fallen item.  I made a mental note not to pay for that…and I didn’t.

Alright, now you are all aware of how incredible pathetic and frugal I am.

3.  Ask For a Discount

The other great way to save a ton of money is to ask for a discount.  My daughter just had shoulder surgery and I got a 10% discount on nearly everything I asked for. I would get rather large bills in the mail, call and ask if I paid in full what would the discount be.  Only 1 place wouldn’t give a discount.

4.  Shop Around For the Best Price

When you have a chance to think ahead about a procedure you might be having, you can call around and find the cheapest place to have it done.  Sounds crazy, but I just did it.

I need back surgery and my insurance won’t pay for the one I want.  My doctor does the surgery at 2 different hospitals. I called Providence Hospital and I was told if I paid in full I could get a 25% discount.  I called Legacy and they offered me a 10% if paid within 7 days.  Wow, I would hate to miss that 7 days.

I was also given the name of every doctor that will be in on my surgery and asked each one for a discount, since insurance won’t pay, and each one agreed to give me a 50% discount, because I followed rule #3.

I guess they are right…Everything is negotiable.

I have linked this to Couponomic Stimulus, Tip Jar and Thrift Tip Tuesday because I don’t want anyone to pay more than they have to.

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Comments

  1. Love this!
    Another tip that a friend told me about years ago is to NOT pay the doctor if you have insurance paying for it. Sometimes it can take a while for an insurance payment to come through – but, if you pay the bill and then your insurance pays it, the doctor doesn’t always send you a check back. Once I learned about this, I called a doctor I was seeing that I had paid and sure enough, they had a credit in my account. I didn’t see that doctor again so the credit would have just been sitting there for who knows how long… I simply asked them to send me a check and they did.
    Lesson learned – make the doctor be patient 😉 As long as you have insurance to cover the visit, it shouldn’t go to collections.

  2. Good tips! Happy Tip Jar Tuesday!

  3. Jenni that is so true. I think it’s confusing to us when insurance takes so long to pay. When you see the bill you want to do the right thing. Right thing to do at that point is call.
    This happened to us just recently. I was told they cannot turn you over to collections because insurance has to do their part first. I just paid a bill like that last month (March) and the service was completed in August.

  4. Fabulous tips!! And no, you aren’t pathetic!! The health care system is so crazy expensive that you have to pay attention to all those costs. Thanks for saving us money!

  5. Great tips! Definitely shop around – my husband is a paramedic and it’s baffling to me how the same procedure can cost drastically different prices based on the hospital.

  6. I completely agree with this tip! Just yesterday when I was at the ortho for my son the one lady was trying to insist I make a payment when I’ve paid in full at the start(to get the discount;) Only now our insurance has changed in the middle of it all and they need to redo the bill to make so that is included. So I politely argued that I shouldn’t be paying anything because they may end up owing ME as it is and finally another lady came up and agreed with me. But, boy was that really frustrating, I was to the point that I was almost going to stop being polite!!!

  7. Way to hold your ground Lori…nicely. 🙂 Medical bills frustrate me more than anything, that is why I like to fully know what is expected of me and what I do or don’t owe. In your situation if you paid in full and got a discount and now insurance might pay, how could you owe anything?

  8. Corrin, it is crazy how much things differ in price. The actual disc, for the disc replacement for my back, is $19,000 at one hospital and $12,000 at another. Same product, from the same company, being put in by the same doctor, just being done at a different location separated by 12 or so miles.

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