You Can Lower Your Medical Bills
When purchasing a new home or vehicle, we expect to negotiate what we think is a fair price. We wouldn’t pay full price up front, right? So why do we pay full price for our medical bills?
Not many of us would consider negotiating the price of our medical bills, but we should – there’s almost always a little wiggle room that can save you big bucks! Follow these tips to see if you can save on your medical bills:
- Educate yourself. Part of negotiating successfully is arming yourself with good information. There are a number of Web sites that provide cost data for specific procedures, treatments and diagnostic tests. When you have an idea of the cost of medical care, you’ll be more prepared to negotiate.
- Ask for it. Working up the courage to ask for a discount on your bill is probably the hardest part. According to Consumer Reports National Research Center, only 31 percent of Americans have negotiated the price of medical bills – but of those who did, 93 percent were successful on at least one occasion.
- Know who to talk to. Ask to speak directly to someone in the billing office or the organization’s chief financial officer. These are the people with the power to save you money. You may feel more comfortable with your doctor, surgeon or specialist, but these people have little to do with billing. Go straight to the source when you’re ready to negotiate.
- Pay in full. If you offer to pay your bill in full, you may be able to negotiate a discount. This benefits you in an obvious way – it saves you money. But paying in full also benefits the clinic or hospital: even after offering a discount, they’ll save time and money by collecting the full balance at once instead of going through a long payment or collections process.