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Medical Bills- Fight for lower costs

Lowering your medical bills

It’s a known fact in the world of bankruptcies that most debtors don’t charge up insurmountable, irresponsible credit card debts after a wild spending spree than head to their bankruptcy court to discharge the debts. Bankruptcy filings are less about lavish lifestyles and more about misfortune and high medical bills.

Unbelievably over the last 10 years we have seen bankruptcies filing skyrocket due to medical bills. Bankruptcy filers are increasingly middle-class, well-educated homeowners who faced an unexpected medical crisis and have been unable to pay their medical expenses.

According to CNN, right now there are 48.6 uninsured Americans, $2.6 million is spend every year on health care and premiums for families has increased 97% over the last 10 years. With healthcare costs sky-rocketing many Americans are left with the question, “What can I do to prevent these costs and take ownership of my medical care and lower my medical bills?”

Price Comparisons for Health Care and lowering your medical bills

Experts suggest it is time to take charge of your medical care. If you were going to buy a car or a house you would do some comparison shopping and find the best deal. This can also be done with medical care.

According to Dr. Jeffrey Rice, founder of, "(People) frequently overpay for services just because they don't know there's price variation -- that you can get the exact same care at a different facility across the street for a fraction of the cost."

How do you find out the best price for service? The first step is to ask. Talk to your doctor and tell them that you need to know the price for the procedure, how much your insurance will pay and whether or not there is an alternative form of treatment to lower your medical bills.

I have done this with dental care. Review items that the dentists suggest you need and see what will and will not be covered by insurance. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. I have gotten the price lowered just by saying that I could not afford the price that was quoted. I also have refused treatments that were unnecessary. Too many time patients don’t realize that a doctor’s office is a business and they are trying to make money. Often this means they may be trying to sell you a service, but it may not be a service you really need.

Make sure the provider is in your network to lower your medical bills

If you have insurance another question is whether the doctor or the facility is in your network. If you use a doctor out of your network you may end up paying double for their services. Finding out whether a doctor is in your network may be as easy as reviewing a website or calling a number.

Find out if the doctor offers a low cost payment plan

If you have shopped around for the best service and the procedure is absolutely necessary you may be able to get a payment plan for larger medical bills. According to CNN, nonprofit hospitals are mandated by law to have financial relief programs for the uninsured and underinsured.

The bottom line is it’s time to start fighting back and taking ownership of our health care costs. Don’t be afraid to challenge charges, and if you know you are being fleeced, it may be time to simply refuse to pay.

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