Medical Bill Assistance


Negotiating Medical Bills

Whether you have adequate health insurance or not, you may find that you are asked to pay a hefty premium for healthcare procedures. The reason is that you are expected to also cover a portion of someone else's bill that

went unpaid. For this reason, you should expect some success if you attempt negotiating medical bills for lower payoffs.

If you are uninsured, then you may find that your medical bills are extraordinarily high. Not only do you have to cover the expenses of those who don't pay, you also fail to benefit from the substantial discounts that insurance companies negotiate with the service providers.

Insurance companies negotiate reductions in the costs of many services. You can do the same by winning a compromise with your healthcare provider.

The best starting point is to find out what insurance companies pay. The "usual and customary" charge for each procedure is a stated maximum that the provider should be charging for the procedure. Many providers charge more than this, which increases what the uninsured are asked to pay. Furthermore, insurance companies negotiate discounts even below what is "usual and customary." It is quite possible that your actual charges could be reduced by 30-60%.

If you are able to pay upfront and in cash, you may be able to score an additional discount as well. Medical billers appreciate being able to avoid paying 2% or more of the transaction as credit card service fees. Additionally, they would prefer getting paid today rather facing a 60-90 day payment delay that is common among health insurance companies.

medical billing advocate is trained to spot overcharges and billing errors. These fee-based services can be used if you are afraid to negotiate with the billers or are unsure of how to understand where to begin.

It may not be your responsibility to pay these extra amounts. You can find a compromise with your healthcare provider on many bills. A primary care physician may not necessarily negotiate, but anyone billing through a hospital likely will.

If you miss your opportunity to negotiate the amounts with the direct biller, then you may have the unfortunate experience of dealing with a debt collector. Unpaid debts are typically referred to outside collection agencies after several months. At this point, you must dispute the validity of the debt with the collection agent within the first 30 days of contact. Otherwise, the amount they attempt to collect is legally assumed to be correct. If this occurs, then your next option may be to attempt to settle the debt for less than the full amount.