Are Your Medical Bills Out of Control?

If you are like many America’s facing unexpected medical bills the task of sorting through invoices can be tedious.

Patients are frustrated to receive multiple bills, for such things as hospital services, with little to no explanations as to what the invoice includes.

None of this surprises Pat Palmer, the founder of Medical Billing Advocates of America. “We get feedback from consumers saying that providers are telling them ‘We can’t give you an itemized statement’ or ‘You should have asked for it before you left the hospital.'”

For those with confusing or huge hospital bills some experts’ advise patients to take the following steps.

Knowing your patient rights within a doctor’s office or hospital is the first step in avoiding financial disagreements. Make it clear that you are aware of your legal right to have such things as an itemizes invoice.

Get explanations in writing and take protests to the top. All communications with a provider should be in writing and if customer service departments are not helpful avoid them and write a letter to the chief financial officer.

Ask for help from you insurer. They have a responsibility to some degree to what happens between you and a contracted physician and can often be a great ally.

And finally seek help and file complaints if your bill is much higher then you expected or can afford. Organizations such as Medical Billing Advocates of America and Health Proponent can help you fight charges or lower your bill.

To learn more read HERE

~Professional Medical Corp.

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The Boomer’s Guide to Medicare.

AARP has posted the top 8 “Do’s and Dont’s” when it comes to Medicare. Make sure you are not only aware…but truly in the know when it comes to the future of your health care.

Here’s what you should know…

1. Do give yourself time to learn about Medicare: It’s a system with many choices and deadlines. Being informed is the best way to avoid mistakes that cost money.

2. Don’t expect to be notified when it’s time to sign up: Unless you’re already receiving Social Security benefits, you must apply for Medicare. But you won’t get any official notice on when or how to enroll.

3. Do enroll when you’re supposed to: To avoid permanent late penalties, enroll at age 65 if you’re not working, don’t have employer insurance or live abroad; or, beyond 65, enroll within eight months of stopping work — even if you continue to receive COBRA or retiree health benefits from an employer.

4. Don’t despair if you haven’t worked long enough to qualify: You may qualify for Medicare on your current or former spouse’s work record. Or you may be able to buy into the program.

5. Don’t worry that poor health will affect your coverage: If you qualify for Medicare, you receive full benefits. You can’t be denied coverage or charged higher premiums because of current or past health problems.

6. Do remember that Medicare is not free: You pay premiums for coverage and copayments for most services, unless you qualify for a low-income program or have other, extra insurance.

7. Don’t assume that Medicare covers everything: It covers a wide range of health services (including expensive ones like organ transplants), prescription drugs and medical equipment. But there are gaps.

8. Don’t expect Medicare to cover your dependents: Nobody can get Medicare under age 65, except those who qualify through disability. Medicare has no family coverage.

For a complete Medicare starter kit, head to http://www.aarp.org/health/medicare-insurance/info-04-2011/medicare-starter-guide.html.