Simple Ways We Can Pay Less for Health Care
Published on September 22nd, 2014 | by Joan Makai
Many people in developed countries have problems paying medical bills that they end up ignoring health care altogether. Although health insurance is well known nowadays, not all people are aware of its importance when it comes to protection against hefty medical bills. They thought of insurance as unnecessary expenses that they ignore the need to get one; as a result they have a hard time paying for health care. But did you know that there are ways to reduce our bills?
- Look for affordable provider:
The nearest hospital or our current doctor could be among the most expensive in the area. We could be pleasantly surprised to know how much we can save by making immediate switch. In center of cities, medical facilities could charge about ten times the amount offered by facilities in sub-urban areas. Luckily, there are price comparison tools that we can use in the Internet, so we may start planning our finances properly. When medical services are in short supply, doctors and hospitals could charge patients whatever they want. They do not publish charges intentionally or perhaps, only show average charge so that patients are still stuck with higher fees in the end.
- Do not take unnecessary tests:
About one third of medical tests don’t really provide significant information about the health status of patients. Many physicians prescribe the test simply because it’s safer than sorry. This could result in unnecessary medical bills and radiation exposure. Among many non-emergency services, MRIs can be the most expensive and insurance policies don’t always cover them. We should know whether the exam is covered by the policy. We could ask our doctors whether more affordable options are available or whether other facilities will charge less.
- Check for incorrect information:
When health insurance companies and hospitals process mismatching personal information, it is likely that billing errors will occur. Just a single incorrect digit in our Social Security number could cause insurers to reject our claims. We should make sure that recorded information is accurate to prevent this. When we finally find mistakes, it is important to immediately contact the insurer to avoid discharge delays or refusal of claims.
- Look for duplicate and erroneous charges:
There are instances when the hospitals make mistakes in their medical billing that’s why it’s important that we should always check them. Before paying anything, patients should analyze medical bills for possible errors. The medical statement should be itemized and well-detailed. Someone could unintentionally double-charge patients by hitting the Enter button one more time by mistakes. Wrong details could also cause patients to be billed for 10 vials of drugs instead of 10 cc. Patients should alert the hospital when they find duplicate charges and request correct numbers. Duplicate charges can be relatively easy to spot, but erroneous charges can be more difficult to identify. When checking itemized bills, we should look for anything unfamiliar that we don’t use. It is possible to check most of the errors quite easily if we look closer. Don’t hesitate to confirm with the billing department if we find something confusing.