79 million Americans have problems with medical bills.
Fighting medical bills can be difficult, especially if you don’t know where to start.
Medical bills can be incredibly expensive, and sometimes it feels like you’re fighting against a machine when trying to get them lowered or waived.
But don’t worry. Keep reading because this guide will help you understand the process of how to fight medical bills and give you the tools you need to get started.
Why Would You Want To Fight Medical Bills?
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There are several reasons you might want to fight your medical bills. Perhaps you feel like you were overcharged, or that the services you received were not up to par. Maybe you simply can’t afford to pay the bill and need help negotiating a lower amount.
Whatever your reasons, it is important to know that you have options when it comes to fighting your medical bills.
Know Your Rights
Before you start fighting your medical bills, it is important to know your rights. This way, you can be sure that you are getting the best possible outcome for your situation.
Start by familiarizing yourself with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This act protects consumers from being harassed by debt collectors.
Under the FDCPA, debt collectors are not allowed to:
- Call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Call you at work if they know your employer does not approve of such calls
- Threaten you with violence
- Use profanity or obscene language when speaking with you
- Repeatedly call you, even if you have asked them to stop
If a debt collector has violated any of these provisions, you may be able to file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
You should also familiarize yourself with your state’s laws regarding debt collection. Some states have additional protections in place for consumers. For example, in Ohio, debt collectors are not allowed to call you more than twice a week.
Understand the Basics of Medical Billing
In addition to knowing your rights, it is also important to understand the basics of EMS Medical Billing. This way, you can be sure that you are being billed correctly. Read over your bill carefully, and make sure that you understand everything that is being charged.
If there are any changes that you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask for an explanation.
If you think you have been incorrectly billed, you can request an itemized bill from your provider. This will list out all of the charges and should help you to better understand what you are being billed for.
You can also lookup the average cost of the procedure or service that you received. This will give you a good idea of whether or not you are being charged a fair price.
Call the Billing Office
The first thing you should do is call the billing office and explain your situation. If you believe the charges are incorrect or you cannot afford to pay the bill in full, be sure to let them know.
Many times, billing offices are willing to work with patients on a payment plan or make other accommodations. If you’re still not satisfied after speaking with the billing office, you can take your appeal to the next level.
Get in Touch With Your Insurance Company
If you have health insurance, your policy should have a process in place for appealing surprise medical bills. Each insurer is different, so be sure to check with your provider to find out what steps you need to take.
It’s also a good idea to check your explanation of benefits (EOB) statement from your insurance company.
This document will show what charges were covered and how much you are responsible for paying. If something looks incorrect, be sure to contact your insurer right away.
Negotiate With the Medical Provider
In some cases, you may be able to negotiate a lower bill with the medical provider. This is more likely to be successful if you can pay the bill in full, but it’s worth a try even if you can only make a partial payment.
Be sure to get any agreement in writing before making a payment. And keep in mind that you may not be able to negotiate a lower bill if your insurance company has already paid its portion.
File a Complaint
If you’re still not happy with the outcome after taking all of these steps, you can file a complaint with your state’s insurance commissioner or department of health. You can also file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
Keep in mind that taking legal action is usually a last resort. You may want to consider consulting with an attorney before moving forward.
Know When to Seek Help
There are some situations where it is best to seek help from a professional. If you are having trouble understanding your medical bill, or if you think you have been incorrectly billed, it is a good idea to consult with a medical billing advocate.
These professionals can help you to understand your bill, and negotiate with your provider on your behalf.
You may also want to consider hiring an attorney if you are having difficulty resolving your issue. However, it is important to note that attorneys can be expensive, so this should only be done as a last resort.
How to Fight Medical Bills Today
Despite the fact that high medical bills account for a majority of personal bankruptcies in the United States, many people are not sure how to fight them. If you find yourself struggling with overwhelming medical debt, don’t worry – there are options available.
Check out our blog for more information on how to fight medical bills.