If you’re looking at astronomical medical bills due to the coronavirus pandemic or another health emergency, you might feel a bit overwhelmed by the cost of your treatment. Here’s some advice on how to manage your medical bills.
Step 1: Review your bills.
Typically, you’ll receive an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance company along with the actual bill, that explains your insurance benefits as it pertains to a particular bill. If your statement includes charges for COVID-19 testing or related expenses, your insurance should be covering the entire amount, as per the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
Review your bills carefully and make sure the EOB and the medical bills correspond with each other. If there is a discrepancy between the two documents, it may be a billing error.
Step 2: Review your insurance coverage.
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with your health insurance policy before disputing any charges. Most health insurance providers will present all members with a detailed manual that outlines exactly which treatments and charges are covered and which are not. Here, you can refer back to the EOB to see if the insurance paid for all procedures it claims to cover.
Step 3: Dispute all errors.
If your insurance billed you incorrectly or did not cover a procedure or treatment that is covered under your plan, call a company representative to ask about the charge. Be sure to have your bill in front of you when you make the call, and to note the time of your call, the contents of the conversation and the name of the representatives you speak to in case you need it for future reference.
If the error is with your doctor’s office, ask to speak to a representative of the billing office and calmly explain your position.
Step 4: Negotiate the remaining bill.
If the bill is unmanageably high after all errors were corrected, you still have options. Consider negotiating with the billing office at your doctor’s practice for a lower price on the treatments and procedures rendered.
Step 4: Create a payment plan or seek funding.
Once you have your final bill amount, you’ll need to choose to pay it now or work on creating a payment plan. One way to pay off your bill is by taking out a Noble Credit Union personal loan. This will provide you with the funds you need to pay your bill immediately, with a payback plan offering easy terms and manageable monthly payments. You can also take advantage of your home’s equity and choose to open an equity loan or line of credit.
Step 5: Going forward
To avoid an unexpectedly large medical bills in the future, you may want to consider switching your insurance plan to one that provides more robust coverage and less expensive copays and deductibles. Your premiums will likely increase, but the change may be financially worthwhile if you have ongoing medical expenses.
Noble Credit Union, voted one of the best credit unions in California, offers offer members full access to a wide range of financial services, including MyRewards Visa credit card, personal loans, online and mobile banking, new and used vehicle loans, and more. For more information about membership at Noble Credit Union, call (559) 252-5000 or visit NobleCU.com.