Prepare ahead of time
Three little things
When you get the medical bill, don’t be shocked by how high it is. An ambulance ride can cost you somewhere between $500 and $1000. However, don’t just accept all of the hospital bills without question. The hospital, by federal law, is required to give you:
1. An itemized copy of your medical bill
2. A pharmacological ledger of all the drugs you were given
3. Your medical chart.
With these three things in hand, it will be easier for you to check your hospital bill for cost overruns, duplicate charges, and sometimes, “procedures” that weren’t even done.
Get an expert
The best way to save on a large medical bill though is to hire an advocate. You can locate one through the Medical Billing Advocates of America. There Web site is www.billadvocates.com.
While you may be pretty good at spotting some overages, an advocate who specializes in hospital bills may be able to knock your medical bill down substantially, since they know what they’re looking for as far as overcharging is concerned. They are more qualified to spot subtle, dishonest practices such as “upcoding,” where hospitals make your illness or facets of it more serious than it really was.
The world is not totally heartless
Sometimes, bad things happen to good people, and if you’re truly faced with a medical bill that’s going to ruin your life, there may be some charitable organizations out there willing to take up your case.