In a survey Amino conducted with Ipsos, an independent market research firm, we found that 37% of Americans could not afford an unexpected medical bill of more than $100 without going into debt. If you fall into that category, it’s important to understand how to deal with unexpected bills in the case of an emergency medical procedure. Here are some tips to manage your costs:
Ask for an itemized bill.
The hospital can provide you with an itemized bill that lists the exact charges and what they are for. This bill will help you verify that you received the care you were charged for.
Find your Explanation of Benefits (EOB).
Your insurance company can provide you with your EOB, which covers the amount charged by your doctor, the amount paid to your doctor, the amount you’re responsible for, which charges are covered, and which are not.
Cross-check your itemized bill with your EOB.
Once you’ve read both your itemized bill and your EOB, compare the two. Look for things like out-of-network care, incorrect service dates, duplicate charges, incorrect quantities of medication, and charges for services you didn’t receive. Make a note of any inconsistencies or mistakes.
Call your insurance company.
If you noticed any discrepancies on your bill, call your insurance company and ask them to correct the errors.
Negotiate with the hospital and/or ambulance company.
You can also negotiate your bill directly with the place you received care. There’s no guarantee, but some facilities may lower your bill or offer a discount, interest-free payment plan, or settlement.
Be persistent if they deny coverage.
It may take more than one call to your insurance company to get your emergency care covered. Don’t give up!