Healthcare costs in the United States are among the highest in the world. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Americans spent $3.8 trillion on healthcare in 2019, which is expected to rise. With such high costs, it's essential to ensure you're paying only what you should be for medical care. One way to do this is by reviewing your medical bills for errors. In this blog post, we'll explain why checking your medical bills is important and how to do it.
Why review your medical bills?
- Catching errors can save you money
According to a 2014 study by the Medical Billing Advocates of America, up to 80% of medical bills contain errors. These errors can include duplicate charges for services not received and incorrect insurance information. Catching these errors can save you a significant amount of money. For example, if you're charged for a medication you didn't receive, you could be paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars for something you never used.
2. Errors can affect your credit score
If you don't pay your medical bills, they can be sent to collections and reported to the credit bureaus. Even if you do pay your bills on time, errors on your bill can confuse and delay payments. This can lead to negative marks on your credit report, affecting your ability to get loans, credit cards, or even a job.
3. Catching errors can improve the quality of your care
Medical billing errors can also impact the quality of your care. For example, if your doctor orders a test or procedure not covered by your insurance, you may be billed for it. This can discourage you from seeking the care you need in the future. By catching errors on your bill, you can ensure that you get the care you need and that your insurance covers it appropriately.
How to review your medical bills?
- Check for errors
The first step in reviewing your medical bills is to check for errors. Look for duplicate charges, charges for services not received, and incorrect insurance information. Next, ensure that the services listed on the bill match your received services. If you find an error, immediately dispute the charge with your healthcare provider or insurance company.
- Understand your insurance coverage
It's essential to understand what your insurance covers and doesn't. First, review your policy and make sure that the services you receive are covered. If you need to know if a service is covered, contact your insurance company to ask.
- Keep track of your healthcare expenses
Maintaining healthcare expenses can help you catch errors and pay your medical bills. First, record all the services you receive and the amounts you're charged. Then, ensure that the charges match the services you received.
- Ask questions
Feel free to ask questions about your medical bill or insurance coverage. Then, contact your healthcare provider or insurance company to get your needed answers. It's better to ask questions and resolve issues early on than wait until the bill goes to collections.
- Consider hiring a medical billing advocate
If you need help navigating your medical bills or are having trouble correcting errors, consider hiring a medical billing advocate. These professionals specialize in reviewing medical bills and can help you dispute charges, negotiate with healthcare providers, and understand your insurance coverage.
In conclusion, reviewing your medical bills for errors is vital in managing your healthcare costs. By catching errors early, you can save money, avoid negative marks on your credit report, and ensure you receive the care you need. If you need help reviewing your medical bills or have questions about your insurance coverage, contact your healthcare provider or insurance company for assistance. It's also important to keep track of your healthcare expenses and understand your insurance coverage to avoid any confusion or surprises when you receive your medical bills. By taking these steps, you can become a more informed and empowered healthcare consumer.