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How to negotiate your medical bills (1 of 2)

All it takes is one unexpected medical procedure or hospitalization for the bills to start piling up.

Not only do you have to deal with trying to recover, you also have to deal with the medical bills that keep arriving in your mailbox. This can be a very frustrating and frightening situation to be in, but the good news is that there is action you can take to deal with the hospital debt.

As you may have heard, hospitals are sometimes willing to lower the outrageous amounts they have charged you. However, you have to act quickly and carefully in order to increase your chances of lowering a hospital bill that you simply cannot afford. Here are some tips from Forbes on how to do that:

Organize your bills. Chances are that you will receive bills from an assortment of doctors, anesthesiologists, labs, medical facilities and others, so it’s very important to keep track of how much you owe and whom you owe it to.

Review the bills for errors and overcharges. It is all too common for hospitals to overcharge patients for procedures they didn’t receive or medications they were not given. Make sure you get itemized bills so that you can examine them carefully for potential problems.

Ask your health insurer to reconsider rejected claims. If your insurer rejected a procedure or medication that you think should have been covered by your policy, appeal the decision. It is fairly common for insurers to change their minds, which can save you a lot of money.

Check back later this week for the final four tips.

Source: Forbes, “7 Tips For Fighting And Paying A Big Hospital Bill,” Caroline Mayer, Sept. 17, 2013

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