Believe it or not, but it is possible to reduce that crazy hospital bill you got in the mail! While it’s not possible to make it disappear completely, we’ve put together a few tips and tricks to help you reduce your hospital or ER bill as much as possible.
Things you can do to reduce a hospital bill:
- Call and ask for an itemized receipt (getting an itemized receipt, the total due may go down.
- Ensure that the bill includes items given/provided— sometimes things are added that went to a different patient
- Ensure there is no double billing- i.e. kits (suture kit, etc.) have items included in them, caution that you are not charged for an individual item accidentally where you were already charged for a kit
- Go through each line item on the itemized receipt— call your insurance company and ask what insurance codes they use for each one of those line items.
- Some procedures will have multiple similar code numbers they use when communicating with your insurance company; your insurance company. Your insurance company may cover some codes in full and not others. Very often the difference between the codes at the hospital-level are negligible. Call the hospital and have them recode the procedure.
- Lastly, you can ask the hospital to audit your bill. They routinely audit some bill to ensure the system is working- asking to have your bill audited may pick up discrepancies.
- Ask for a patient advocate or financial counselor. Often a patient advocate is trained to negotiate on your behalf.
- Talk with the department manager. Explain the high bill is a problem for you- tell them you desire to pay but you cannot handle the big bill at this time. Don’t be confrontational. Ask for a reduction. If they can’t reduce the bill, ask for a payment plan.
- Talk with the billing department. Ask about discounts and payments plans (even if rejected by department manager)
- If you are claiming hardship, be prepared to provide financial details (pay stub, tax return, etc.)
- Write and ask for an adjustment, if you don’t have insurance, mention this- some hospital have special rates for those without insurance. Point out that HMO and PPOs pay much less than the amounts you were billed. Ask that your bill reflect those lower amount.
Wanting to learn more about affordable healthcare that doesn’t require expensive insurance premiums and deductibles? Click here to find out more about Lotus Health’s Direct Primary Care programs.