Unexpected medical bills can cost up to $1,000. Sometimes, these healthcare costs are unavoidable. However, knowing some tips on managing your black healthcare costs can help you avoid unnecessary medical expenses. This article will guide you on how to manage your healthcare expenses.
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Request Itemized Bill
If you get a bill from an insurance company or a healthcare provider and don’t find the charged services, contact the biller to ask for an itemized list of services offered and their prices. However, if a healthcare provider feels reluctant to send it, remind them that you’re guaranteed under federal laws – HIPAA (the Health Insurance Accountability and Portability Act) to get one.
You can find books that cover healthcare laws in the United States on Amazon. These books will help you discover your rights as a citizen regarding health matters.
Look up Bills With an Explanation of Benefits (EOB)
An explanation of benefit (EOB) is simply an insurance company’s written document that shows the total charges for your visit. It usually looks like a bill but isn’t.
Explanation of benefits helps you understand the amount your insurance plan covers and how you’ll pay when you receive a bill from your healthcare provider. So, do the due diligence to cross-check your healthcare bills with an explanation of benefits. If you find any inconsistency between what the EOB says you should pay and the itemized bill, contact the healthcare provider to let them know about it.
Negotiate for Lower Bill
If the costs for a healthcare service that you received are above your budget, contact the provider and let them know that you can’t afford the bill then negotiate. For example, if a healthcare provider is charging $1000 for a procedure, but you discover that you can get that same medical care for $800 somewhere, examine your finances.
If you can afford to pay $800, negotiate to make a single payment of that amount to clear up the bill. Most providers will accept a lump sum to clear a debt. So, you can use it to your own advantage to reduce your black healthcare costs. There are books on Amazon that’ll teach you how to negotiate your bills.
Use Your Health Savings or Flexible Spending Accounts
With flexible spending or health savings accounts, you can save money for your medical expenses and avoid borrowing to pay for healthcare bills. Deposits to flexible spending and health savings accounts are done automatically from every paycheck you receive and sent to a tax-free account that you can use to pay medical bills.
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Create a Payment Plan
If your finances won’t allow you to pay off large amounts of bills at once, it’s advisable to create a payment plan that permits you to pay instalmentally. First, you need to figure out how much you owe. Next, you review your finances to see how much you can pay on a per-check or monthly basis.
Once you’re certain of these things, contact your healthcare provider to set up a payment plan for you. While doing that, you can also ask if they have any financial assistance program that’ll benefit you.
Cross-check Billing Codes
Sometimes, you can receive a bill by error, or your insurance company may even fail to pay the right amount. That’s why it’s important to examine the billing codes. Your healthcare itemized bill usually lists current procedural terminology (CPT) codes for treatments or medical services provided.
CPT codes explain medical services, while healthcare providers and insurance companies use procedural. So, you should always check to ensure that the medical services you receive are the same as the CPT codes on the bill. The good thing is that you can check the meaning of the code online.
Let’s be honest: healthcare bills can feel overwhelming. However, they’re something we’ve to deal with at some point in life. If you make a good plan and get organized, the cost of your black medical costs won’t wreck your finances. To learn more, get one or two books on managing medical costs on Amazon.
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