1/3 of Americans are getting hit with these unfair billing practices. Are you one?
If you receive a surprise medical bill or are balance billed:
- Contact your insurer or provider to make sure that they did not send you this bill in error.
Ask for an itemized bill from the hospital or provider.
- Call your insurance carrier’s member services department and explain the situation.
Tell them that you were unaware you received care from an out-of-network provider (Providers who have not contracted with the insurance company to offer a lower rate). Ask them to include these charges as in-network.
- Contact the provider who sent you the bill.
Talk to their billing department and inform them that the charges were a surprise and you believe them to be unfair as you were not given a choice when using the provider. Ask them to reduce the charges to an in-network rate.
- Try to negotiate a “usual and customary” (the average cost for a service in your geographic area) rate.
Your insurer will be able to provide you with this information.
- Check with your state regulatory agency.
Many states have protections in place for people who incur these unavoidable charges.
- If you would like more help, you can use a “Bill Advocacy Company”.
They will help eliminate or negotiate the charges for a small fee if they are successful.