Rising Health Care Costs
Negotiating Medical Bills and Cutting Expenses
As rising health care costs continue, there becomes more of a desire for cutting expenses. It is estimated by Consumer Reports that less than one third try negotiating medical bills. For those that do, use these strategies to save money as the methods in this article will help you significantly with medical bills by controlling health care costs yourself.
Understanding Medical Insurance Costs and Ways to Save
CPT Codes The fancy name is Current Procedural Terminology codes and are the numbers used by the American Medical Association. Hospital billing departments use
them to charge for any medical procedure performed on you. Learn the CPT codes applicable to you and then you will be able to effectively comparison shop and ensure your charges are correct.
Negotiating Medical Bills Yes, it is okay to do this and is becoming more common as household budgets get further squeezed and insurance coverage becomes less and less. Even the people who do have medical coverage are slowly being required to pay higher co pays and deductibles.
Discover Discounts Insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid, often receive up to a 60% discount on medical charges. You and I may not individually have the same level of buying power to deal with rising health care costs, however, a significant amount of money will be saved by simply asking for some of these same discounts.
Make Cash Payments And speaking of negotiating medical bills, nothing speaks louder than hard cold cash. About the most effective of strategies to save money and obtain a big discount is to pay in advance. Doctors and hospitals are very willing to offer a 20% discount for upfront payment than have to worry about insurance reimbursements or dealing with collection agencies.
Use the Medicare Chart After discovering your applicable CPT codes (see above), go to the American Medical Association's website to find out what Medicare pays in your geographical area. Negotiating a rate that is 25% above what Medicare charges is very reasonable for most medical procedures.
Review the Bill This is huge in controlling health care costs. It is estimated that as much as the 85% of medical bills have at least one error. Wow. The odds are not in your favor here, so request an itemized bill and review it line by line. Do not be intimidated, this is business and your cash.
Use a Medical Advocate If you are intimidated by the process and need some help, pay a flat fee for an expert at negotiating medical bills who will take 20% to 35% of the savings' end results. To begin your search, contact the National Association of Healthcare Advisory Consultants, or simply let me Google that for you.
Lower Cost Treatments
Use Generic Prescriptions This is about the easiest way to save money and combating health care costs. Ingredient for ingredient, the only difference in most prescription drugs is the price. Ask your pharmacist for the real story about what you are purchasing.
Discretionary Services To stay away from expensive tests and treatments that are not absolutely necessary, ask if the chosen ones could be done at a later date. Also, find out from your doctor if it is medically okay to discontinue a prescription or switch to a lower priced one.
Make Major Financial Limits Known Since your doctor orders and services, make sure he or she understands your household budgeting's medical category is not as big as the insurance company's'. Talking frankly about your money limitations does not need to result in low quality treatment, just alternatives that are acceptable to the both of you.
Use these tips to help with medical bills and resist rising health care costs. Cutting expenses by obtaining discounts and better pricing by negotiation medical bills is another in a great list of strategies to save money. It is very common to save hundreds, and even thousands, by comparison shopping, offering cash payments, and direct negotiating. Doing so allows you and your family to continue receiving quality care but at a lower price that does not make a family budget scream in agony.
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