Emergencies and illnesses happen at any time, and, unfortunately, they usually mean a lengthy pile of bills will arrive in the mail. At a time when you want to focus on healing, it’s hard not to worry about how you’ll pay for the care. While the numbers are large, you can take several steps to help reduce charges or ease the payments. Here are a few things to consider before you pay off those bills.
Is the Facility In-Network?
Hospitals and doctors have contracts with companies and often use Managed Care Consultants to establish rates for appointments and procedures. These are considered in-network with your plan. In-network facilities need to stay within those prices, and they often have a lower deductible. Out-of-network hospitals and doctors, those without negotiated rates, can charge more and may ask for any extra money beyond the insurance rate. Before seeing someone, look up the doctor through your insurance’s online portal. This is the easiest way to verify how your insurance will process the payments.
Don’t Hesitate To Appeal
Yes, you might argue a bill and have it changed. The catch to the out-of-network charge sometimes lies in how it occurs. If you selected the doctor ahead of time, the larger price most likely will stay; however, if you arrive by ambulance or as a state of emergency, your insurance might place this as an in-network charge since you did not have a choice in the matter. Should you have this occur, call request an appeal. Insurance may work with the bill to reduce the charges.
Payment Plans Are Okay
You do not have to pay for everything at once. Call your provider, and discuss possible payment plans. Then, look at your expenses and set up a reasonable rate. Some hospitals will let you pay low amounts over several years. It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s simply survival.
Those mounting invoices can seem daunting. Know your plan. Then, invest in conversations and phone calls. It could save you money.