Paying When You Have Health Insurance
If you have to pay medical bills, and money is an issue, you can negotiate what you owe.
If, Despite Insurance, You Have To Pay All Or Most Of The Fee Yourself
If you have to pay for your healthcare, consider negotiating. Ask your doctor or other health care provider to lower the fee. Studies show that more than 50% of the people who ask for a fee reduction, get it.
Whether you have to pay because your insurance doesn't cover, or you don't have insurance, is not relevant. What is relevant is that you want to work with this doctor or other health care provider but money is presenting a difficulty.
Suggested negotiating strategies to consider:
- Remind the doctor that his or hers is only one of the many bills you are suddenly faced with because of your health condition.
- Call your insurer, or ask a friend to call his or hers. How much would the company pay for the type of service you need? Armed with that information, you can remind the doctor what he or she accepts for the same service from insurers. (If the doctor brings up that insurers get a discount because of the number of patients they send, you can let the doctor know you are a one person advertisement for his or her services because of all the people you talk to at work, your support group or whatever).
- If the doctor won't budge with respect to price, perhaps he or she will let you pay the bill over time (preferably with no interest).
If You Only Owe Co-Pays
Even if you only pay co-pays, people have been known to ask the doctor to waive the co-pay entirely, or at least to reduce the amount. If you have many doctor visits, tests and/or procedures, or are taking a lot of drugs, you are likely paying a lot of money in co-pays.
If you are uninsured, see Uninsured.