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Surprise! Hidden costs in your hospital bill... Are you prepared?

100,000 reasons to understand the limits of your health insurance.

Due diligence is the name of the game! From NBC News, this piece couldn’t be more on point. Turns out this patient got billed $100,000 dollars even after she had talked to her health and insurance providers.

Tons of resources indicate the need to conduct extensive research should you need a surgical procedure. The term ‘due diligence’ will also mean peace of mind.

  • Make sure everyone participating in your health and wellbeing is in your health insurer network. You’ll be surprised how many patients end up getting care from a facility or a doctor who is not included in your network of providers. In this case, the anesthesiologist was not part of such network. This goes for radiologists, pathologists, health specialists – anyone involved in the process.

  • Prevention is the name of the game to stay healthy. However, some preventive screenings end up costing additional expenses that were not originally covered in your plan. Look for health insurance companies that reward preventive screenings –like mammographies and colonoscopies.

  • If you are having a medical procedure done, it is not only making sure the physicians and their teams are in the network. You might have the best team working on a facility that is not included in your health provider’s network.

  • Understand the terminology. It has happened that when screening for breast cancer in a mammography additional steps –like a biopsy, need to happen. Research and be prepared to pay for additional fees.

  • Fully understand your procedure and get the numbers. Most health plans have out-of-pocket expenses, fees and deductibles. Most importantly, get everything in writing.

  • When you feel that you have covered all your bases, don’t get comfortable. Check, double-check and have all forms and paperwork in order.

  • Try and get a ball figure on the hospital expenses. You might be surprised how much you can save with a box of tissues!

  • After medical care, make sure you understand the relationship between the services that were rendered, and what is being billed to you. Medical billing codes might be different at the facility where you received treatment. Some of the costs may be covered by the insurance company depending of if it was an emergency, for example.

  • But most importantly, talk to your health insurance provider about the best strategies for your care. There are always alternatives that can fully cover your expectations when dealing with health issues.

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