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Hospitals 101

How To Review and Negotiate Your Hospital Bill

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A large percentage of hospital bills contain errors. The overcharges average a lot of money.

It is advisable to check your hospital bill, even if you are insured. Studies indicate that the percentage of hospital bills with errors is well above 50%.  If you are covered by insurance or Medicare, you may be responsible for a deductible or a percentage of the bill.  Even if you are not required to make a payment, overcharges can use up your lifetime limit, especially if you have multiple hospitalizations.

You should not pay for the cost of fixing medical errors which occurred in the hospital. Likewise, you should not pay for preventable conditions either. Medicare no longer does. Neither should you. For example, Stage 3 or 4 bed sores (pressure ulcers) acquired after admission to a hospital.

To learn how to review a hospital bill, click here.

If you need help reviewing your bill, there are professional services available. Some bill review services only charge a percentage of the money they save you.

If you do not have insurance, or if your insurance doesn't cover a procedure or treatment, you can negotiate your bill. Hospitals and doctors are generally willing to negotiate.  At the least, try to have the bill lowered to the lowest amount paid by private insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicaid. 

To learn how to negotiate a hospital bill, click here.

NOTE: If you dispute a hospital bill, inform the billing department of the dispute. Explain that you are trying to sort out the bill and ask them to place the bill on hold. Otherwise, the clock starts ticking when they send you the bill. If the bill isn't paid within the time specified by the hospital (such as 60 or 90 days), the bill is likely sent to collection -- and that can hurt your credit score.

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