From the article: How to Negotiate Medical Bills
Medical bills can be outrageous especially if you don't have insurance. Have you ever talked yourself into a smaller bill? Tell Us How You Did It
Charity is the way to go...
- I had a cat scan that I mistakenly thought my insurance would pay more for. My bill was $4000 - $1600 insurance paid. I owed $2400. I called the hospital. Their 1st offer was 10% off. I said I still couldn't afford it. They offered a 2 year payment plan, I said no. They mentioned charity. I couldn't imagine I would qualify, as I make $40M year. They sent me the forms, I wrote my list of bills and that I have no extra money to spare. It's only my husband and me in the household. They did the math and mailed back their offer.. They lowered my bill to $824. I took it and paid right away. Always Always get a deal up front. Also check out stand alone scan centers. I've saved b/4 when I didn't have insurance, but I wasn't thinking when it was an emergency. Have this info handy for emergencies. =-)
- —Guest Ilex
A medical bill advocate that helped me
- My best friend is a nurse and she told me that there are people who could help figure out if my daughter's medical bills are correct and fair. She sent me to a medical bill advocate company that explained what they review, and they reviewed my daughter's bills and found some serious and some not so serious mistakes, and so even that was more than we could handle and they got the bill negotiated down a lot more (I mean a LOT more). We started with a $22000 bill and they got it down $9000 (!!) with a down payment and monthly payments. I'm still mostly happy about that, because I promised my daughter I would help her pay this. The company I used is called Medical Bill Rehab, and they did all this for me even though I am in Chicago and they are in Los Angeles. I am so disappointed in how these bills are out of control, but I am glad there are people out there who can help deal with it somewhat.
- —Guest Maria
Brought my bill down
- I had a $6,000 medical bill, and I was uninsured due to my own stupidity. I used a medical bill negotiation service, and they negotiated my bill down to $2,500. Though I had to pay the bill within ten days, I was pretty satisfied with the reduction. I was able to pay with a 0% credit card too.
- —Guest Steve Hendershot
Better to AVOID the Medical Bills ...
- I am the son of a Registered Nurse, and grew up thinking that doctors and hospitals are just "part of life." I have since learned better, and I had the opportunity to share back with my mother. She had been put in a nursing home, and she was rapidly dying. My wife and I shut down our "regular" lives, moved into her home and brought her home where we provided her with nutrient-rich organic raw vegetables and fruits, eliminated wheat and processed dairy and found the supplements that she was lacking. Her Alzheimer's "went away." she became somewhat mobile, and went on to live another 10 pleasant years, passing on at 94. The best summary of what worked for her can be found in the book Green for Life, by Victoria Boutenko. NO medical bills is the most successful negotiated solution!
- —Guest Bruce Wesley Chenoweth
- Whether or not it is true, I was told by an an advocate for elder patients that the "magic word" to force a hospital, etc. to give the best price is to ask for their "charity" rate. Apparently, they can avoid disclosing /offering that rate if you don't invoke the magic word "CHARITY." Sneaky, if it is correct information. Well worth investigating.
- —Guest senorapamela
Helping Others Negotiate Medical Bills
- I have a business where I help others with unpaid medical bills through using my techniques in working in the medical field for over 20 years. Always look at an itemized bill to make sure you are billed for everything that was used or services performed. Research shows as much are 8 out of 10 medical bills are overcharged. I helped a client save $8000 by calling the insurance company to find out exactly why the claim was not paid. When I told them I was a medical consultant helping this client (after release of medical information signed by patient for insurance to talk to me) they told me exactly what was needed to get this paid. Ironically all they wanted was medical records to pay the claim. I called the physicians nurse (not billing) and left a message and faxed the information that was needed to be sent to the insurance. The nurse called me back, and I explained the issue. The records were faxed to the insurance company and the claim was paid within 2 weeks.
I Paid with Cash
- I was uninsured and needed a major surgery. I had to withdraw almost all money in my IRA. I asked the hospital what kind of deal I could get on a "package plan' if I paid cash (that included everything done in the hospital, including a 3 night stay). I did the same with the surgeon and her assistant MD, and the anesthesiologist (all through their office managers). Everyone cut their charges in half. The only person who charged full price was the pathologist. I received a $20,000 operation for a little over $10,000. I didn't have to pay an IRA penalty for early withdrawal since it was for medical purposes. I've spent the past 4 years rebuilding my IRA and now have health insurance.
- —Guest Jennilol
- I called around and spoke with the financial counseling department of the hospital. They gave me a quote for the procedure as insured and uninsured. Something that would have been billed to insurance at $1500 and billed to me at $600-800 cost me $270 when I paid out of pocket from my HSA. The HSA meant that the $270 was a tax deduction for me and would be for anyone.....even those who do not itemize.