How To Negotiate For A Lower Health Care Bill
Medical bills are not set in stone. You can negotiate for a lower price.
Preferably, ask for a lower price before receiving a medical treatment. It is when your negotiating position is the strongest.
If you wait until after treatment is received: Start with the largest bill from one of your health care providers. If the provider agrees to a discount, you can ask all other providers to match the discount.
As a general matter, when negotiating, keep in mind the provider's interest as well as your own. For instance, keep in mind that every health care provider is aware that it takes time and costs money to collect a medical bill. The cost of collection is generally 30% of the amount collected. Offering to pay in cash, or even an agreed to amount per month, can seem like a win-win situation for both you and the provider.
- If the bill in question is a doctor bill, see: How To Negotiate A Doctor's Bill
- If the bill in question is a hospital bill, see: How To Negotiate A Hospital Bill
- If the bill relates to an out of network charge under a health insurance policy, see: Health Insurance: Out Of Network
- If the bill includes items that the insurer says were not medically necessary, or for charges about what is "reasonable and customary" see: Health Insurance Claims: Appeals
NOTE: If you are not good at negotiating or do not feel up to it, ask a family member or friend to do it for you. There is also professional help available as noted in Professionals Who Negotiate Medical Debt
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