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Negotiating Your Medical Bills

If you have medical insurance, you should receive an Explanation of Benefits from your insurance company every time you visit a doctor. Have you ever looked at one? It’s amazing. You’ll see the how much the doctor billed you, how much the insurance company negotiated as an allowable rate, and the difference can be staggering. The catch-22 in all this is that if you don’t have insurance, you’d have to pay the standard rate unless you negotiated with the doctor… and negotiating with the white coat can be hard. Fortunately, it’s not as uncommon as you think, according to a New York Times article, and here are a few tips I’ve researched from the interwebs.

Here are a few things you need to keep in mind as you approach this:

Here are some ideas on how to negotiate:

Finally, where you go for treatment can have a significant impact on your costs. Most people intuitively know that you don’t go to the emergency room if you have pinkeye, but a doctor’s visit may be overkill too. If you have a common ailment, consider going to a clinic rather than a doctor to reduce your costs.

Bargaining Down the Medical Bills [4] [ New York Times]
5 Ways to Lower Your Medical Bills [5] [ US News & World Report ]

(Photo: brykmantra [6])