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It’s no secret that health care costs have been spiraling out of control for years. To fight back, your best bet is to be a well-informed consumer: Know the true costs of medical procedures, supplies and medications so you can bargain effectively; carefully anticipate and track medical expenses; and stay on top of your bills.
But sometimes, even when you follow the rules you still can get burned. I’ve heard many appalling stories about people – even those with comprehensive insurance – who have been denied benefits, over-charged, sent to collections or even forced to file for bankruptcy because they couldn’t pay their medical bills.
Here are a few coping strategies:
Carefully review each doctor, lab or hospital bill and match it against the Explanation of Benefits statement that shows how much they were reimbursed by the insurance company. Also, watch for items that may have been charged to you by mistake such as:
Medications, supplies, treatments or meals you didn’t receive while hospitalized or getting an outpatient procedure.
Duplicate charges for a single procedure (such as x-rays, MRIs and lab work), including those that had to be redone due to a technician’s error.
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