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How to avoid being overcharged for medical services
How to avoid being overcharged for medical services

As more financing options become available, consumers are at risk of paying medical bills before taking steps to reduce them.

Updated over a week ago

3-minute read

Have you ever gotten a medical bill that was surprising, complicated — or both? You’re not alone: Nearly 40% of Americans find medical bills confusing.

Unfortunately, where there’s uncertainty, there’s the risk of making a decision that’s not in your best interest.

So, the next time you get a bill, take a moment to pause and ask these three crucial questions to make sure you don’t pay too much.

1. Have all your insurance benefits been applied?

Your benefits should be applied before you pay, regardless of payment method. So take these steps to confirm they’ve been applied:

  • Review your insurance plan to understand what’s covered and which expenses you’re responsible for, like deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximums.

  • When in doubt, call your insurer. Go over the bill to confirm what you should owe based on your benefits.

2. Do you qualify for financial assistance?

You could qualify for assistance based on your income and medical status. Many patients know about Medicaid and Medicare, but overlook nonprofits and providers for potential assistance. Ask your provider’s billing department what options are available to you.

  • Medicaid: Coverage for low-income individuals and families

  • Medicare: Assistance for seniors and those with disabilities

  • Nonprofit organizations: Aid for patients with specific medical conditions or financial hardships

  • Your healthcare provider: Assistance or reduced bills based on your income and family size

3. Is this a “surprise bill?”

If you get a bill that’s much higher than expected, it could be a surprise bill for out-of-network services. The No Surprises Act bans certain types of billing practices, and if you receive a surprise bill, you may be able to appeal it.

Start by contacting your insurance company. They have the ability to negotiate a lower payment amount with the provider.

Take control of your healthcare costs

When you get a medical bill, it’s crucial to make sure the costs are correct before paying. By understanding your insurance plan, exploring assistance options, and knowing your rights under the No Surprises Act, you can make sure you’re not overpaying for care.

And when you are ready to pay the bill, remember that your provider’s financing suggestions aren’t the only options, and could end up costing you more. Look for truly zero-interest options, like Paytient’s Health Payment Account*.

*Paytient is a benefit sponsored by an employer, insurer, or health system and is subject to approval.

The Paytient Visa Credit Card is issued by Commerce Bank, Member FDIC.

This content is for informational purposes only – it should not be treated as legal, tax, investment, or financial advice. Please consult with your tax or financial advisor for advice specific to your situation.

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