Thursday, June 5, 2008

Watch Those Medical Bills

We have a rule in our house that no medical bills get paid until they are compared to explanation of benefits from our insurance company. With having a baby last year, I received a lot of medical bills. Out of the dozen or so bills we received from the hospital, only two of them were correct the first time. They also sent us a few bills for things we had already paid. So when we'd get a bill I would have to call up the hospital and have them correct it. It got to the point that I had to keep a spreadsheet of the bills, how much they should be and when they were paid.

Also, if the bill is significant (over $100 in my opinion), don't be afraid to call and ask for an interest free payment plan. We did this with several bills to avoid depleting our savings all at once. By spreading the payments out over several months we were able to avoid completely depleting our emergency fund.

You should also be aware of your insurance schedule of benefits. In the last year I've had two instances where our insurance company underpaid our benefits. Our insurance company has been great every time I've had to call them and both of these situations were corrected right away. They were also both slightly unusual situations so I understood why they didn't pay correctly the first time. Our total savings from just from the insurance corrections was $150.

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