[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I consider myself a pretty savvy shopper- my mother taught me well. I can scout a sale, ask for discounts, and return items that don’t live up to my expectations. But I never knew I could negotiate my medical bills. In fact, I thought whatever bill was sent to me after a medical procedure was the price I had to pay. Well friends, I will let you in on a little secret, even medical bills can be negotiated! With medical bills being the #1 cause of bankruptcy in the US, it is our right and our duty to negotiate and double check what we pay.
Take control of your bills
Billing mistakes happen, and unfortunately they happen with great frequency. Human error is to blame when you turn a procedure into a bunch of codes. But just because someone has made an error on your bill, doesn’t mean you have to suffer the consequences. There are several ways you can take control of your medical bills and save your dollar bills!
- Know your health insurance coverage. If you have health insurance and are facing high out of pocket costs, find out why. Call your provider to find out why they denied a claim. Was a procedure coded incorrectly? Was there confusion with in-network or out-of-network providers? Knowing why a claim was denied will direct you to your next step: appealing your insurance claim or following up with your provider.
- Request an itemized statement. Often times after a procedure, a summary statement is sent. However, the summary does not tell you what you are being billed for. Contact the billing department for an itemized statement. Patients are often surprised to see they are billed for items they never received, or for services that should be bundled together (like a series of lab tests to diagnose one disease). If it looks like you are being nickeled and dimed for extras that should be included – like gloves or gowns – question it!
- Ask for a discount. If you have the cash to pay your bill and believe there are no errors, ask for a prompt pay discount! It’s not advertised, but common practice is to discount 10-20% for a prompt payment.
- Log your communications. It may take a lot of persistence on your part to lower your medical bills. Keep detailed records of everyone you communicate with during the process. You may need to keep moving up the chain of command before you find the right person to help you. Don’t give up with the first “no” you receive - keep fighting!
I don’t have time to call. Can someone do it for me?
We know calling the medical billing department (probably several times) and waiting on hold to ask for a discount or to fix billing errors will take up a lot of your time. But the payoff could be hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the size of your bill. However, if you still don’t want to spend days calling around to fix your bill, there is someone that can help. CoPatient is a medical bill negotiation service that will analyze your bills and negotiate on your behalf. All you have to do is send them your unpaid medical bill. They will analyze the bill and send you back a free savings report (how much they think can be negotiated off your bill). Once you authorize CoPatient to negotiate on your behalf they will contact the medical billing offices and fight for your savings. CoPatient has found that 90% of the bills they review have errors, and they are able to save their users 40% on their bills.
Does it work?
We had our team members try out CoPatient to test how it works on their bills. One team member was able to save over $100 on his infant's doctor visit. This is particularly exciting because many people are now faced with high deductible insurance plans or alternative forms of insurance like Medi-Share which do not cover routine exams.
Tell me more!
CoPatient typically charges a 35% fee of the amount you saved, but with Take Command Health Premier Plan, CoPatient is free to use! Take Command Health Premier Plan is a supplement to your insurance. For $12-$20 a month, the Premier Plan provides you with bill negotiation, telemedicine 24/7 ($0 consult fee!), pharmacy, doctor scheduling, dental and vision discounts. The Premier Plan is one way Take Command Health is trying to help you save money on your insurance.
Learn more about the Premier Plan here.
Want to see bill negotiation in action? Check out our video below.