If you have to stay in the hospital for any reason, you may rack up an astronomical medical bill even if you have good insurance. Hospitals charge for every service they provide so you should expect a high bill, but it is essential to look it over carefully so you can ensure each charge was accurate. Occasionally, you may find that you were charged for services you didn’t receive so you need to dispute the bill quickly. Here are three actions to do immediately if you have been overcharged for a hospital stay.
Contact the Hospital’s Billing Department
The first thing you need to do after reviewing your bill is to contact the hospital’s billing department. If you don’t have any charges to dispute, the billing department can help you set up a payment plan. If you do have charges to dispute, the billing department will reference chargemaster software to go through the charges item by item. If the dispute is not resolved by this action, it’s time to take a more drastic approach with the following step.
Call Your Health Insurance Provider
If you have good insurance, you won’t have to pay the entire cost of your medical bills. However, you still need to contact the insurance company if you are aware of a charge dispute in your bill. Your insurance provider is better prepared to fight the dispute to ensure you pay the smallest amount of money possible. Although a solution can usually be reached between the hospital and your insurance provider, occasionally the dispute escalates and requires you to take further action to ensure you don’t pay for services you didn’t receive.
Consider Hiring a Lawyer
If the hospital and your insurance provider can’t reach an agreement, you may need to hire a legal representative. This step should not be taken lightly and you have to be able to prove that you did not receive the disputed service. If the judge awards the case to you, you won’t have to pay the disputed charge and the hospital may even be required to pay your legal fees. Because this step is so drastic, you do not want to take it unless you have been hit with an astronomical charge for a service you didn’t receive.
Disputing a hospital bill is not easy but can be done if you were mistakenly charged for a service. Taking these three steps immediately after receiving a bill can increase the likelihood of getting the disputed charge dropped from your bill.