Medical Bills: Let Someone Else Slay the Billing Dragons
that are high and unpaid? Don't worry for you are not alone. When you receive the statement, don't assume that it is correct or reasonable. Check it against your own list to see if there are any discrepancies. Besides, there are effective tactics that can help you negotiate a lower bill.
The bills could be agonizing especially if your own insurance will only cover half of your medical expenses. You could call them to set up a payment plan till you're blue in the face but there is no other real person in the other side of the line except a robot.
Calling the insurance company is futile because all you'll get is a recording. Then if you hit zero to get the operator, you will be disconnected. This reminds me of Verizon who put me through a similar agonizing experience. These people should really be regulated by the government, don't you think? They're already trying to regulate the credit card companies. Maybe, this is next in line? Keep your fingers crossed!
Finally there's someone you can call for there is a new niche specialist in town. Who is it? It's none other than the independent medical claims consultant. Their fees run from $25 to $125 an hour or a percentage of the money saved. Typically this is 20 to 35%.
The fees are not bad considering what they have to do. They have to cut through the chaos of paper work. They will have to organize the bills, file claims and dispute denials. They even have to do some detective work looking for mistakes in the bill which they say happen in 90% of statements.
There was one such medical bills detective who audited a statement worth $479,000. Would you believe she found almost $264,000 worth of mistakes? One such mistake was $12 for cheap hospital tissues billed as a mucous disposal system.
It took hours and hours of phone calls just to get the itemized bill from the hospital but don't buck down as by law we are entitled to it. If all you need is tracking the paperwork and you can input the information into your computer, then a bill organizing service online is just the right help.
You receive a lot of mail every day. It is not clear whether the bills are new or have already been paid. It is either ignore them or pay everyone of them if you do not have the knowledge and the emotional resources to battle with all the rules and regulations. I for one spend one hour a day to figure this one out while I process the mail. And I painstakingly enter them in my Bill Book.
So for all of you out there who do not want to bother with what I do, you can find a consultant through the Alliance of Claims Assistance Professionals at claims.org. Or if it is a billing detective you need, go to Medical Billing Advocates at http://www.billadvocates.com
If it becomes overwhelming because of harsh collection tactics, then it is worth it to have a claims advocate. Because once you have a chronic condition like diabetes, you will be introduced to what is wrong with the health care system. You may then need help to wade through the paperwork of medical bills.
Medical Bills May Be Tax Deductible
Medical bills are deductible if it is more than a certain percentage, usually 7.5% of the adjusted gross income. Diabetes is one of those conditions where expenses can really add up. Some insurance companies will cover only some of them. So make sure to claim what you pay out of pocket. Save the receipts as they will be needed as proof that you incurred them. Dental expenses are also deductible
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