Author Topic: Negotiate a hospital bill  (Read 2891 times)

BTDretire

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Negotiate a hospital bill
« on: November 08, 2015, 10:54:20 AM »
Looks like my High Deductible isn't going to save me money this year!

My 21 yr old son was out on his skateboard and got hit by a bicycle last night.
He was knocked unconscious, he doesn't know how long. He needed 7 staples in his head and several stitches in his leg. The gave him a CT scan and said they didn't see any problem.
 I'm 250 miles from him, still waiting to see if he wants mom and dad to visit, I just found out 3 hours ago.
So far he says he's OK, his big sister will be able to visit in about 5 hours. We should be talking to him shortly,
he wanted to rest before another call.

  My question:
 I have a $10,000 deductible, the insurance company does say how much they allow the provider to charge.
That will limit the cost some, but I wonder can I negotiate the cost down any further?
                                               Thanks


 

Rezdent

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Re: Negotiate a hospital bill
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2015, 11:18:46 AM »
Sorry to hear about your son.  Thank goodness it sounds like he'll be okay.

It is certainly worth trying.  I recommend as a first step that you carefully check every charge for accuracy.  You may need to ask for a breakdown from the hospital.

FIRE me

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Re: Negotiate a hospital bill
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2015, 12:22:15 PM »
The insurance company has likely already negotiated a reduced rate over the retail price. But maybe less so than usual considering your high deductible.

If I were paying the bill, I would call the hospital (with the bill in hand) and see how little you could get them to accept for full and immediate lump sum payment. I wold not say the words “cash discount” which is unlikely to get you more than 5%.

I'd be looking for 20 to 50% off, for payment made in full and immediately.

Capsu78

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Re: Negotiate a hospital bill
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2015, 01:46:53 PM »
Go to the hospital website and search on Financial Assistance Policies and see if your son, or you as the policy holder qualify.  They don't advertise their policies but by law they have to publish how to apply somewhere.  No consistency between hospitals- some are for profit, some NFP, some operate as both. At least initiate the application process.  If you get denied (in writing), then you are in a stronger position for them to accept a lower payment to get your account off the books.

You likely will get multiple bills as well- the person who takes the CT could be a different bill than the person who read it.  You may not see all the bills for up to 120 days.   

Your "high deductible" is the real scam behind Obamacare- while most discussions focus on the high cost of premiums, the real rate increases have been in how much deductible they are driving so many people toward and they are raising much faster than premium rates.   

neophyte

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Re: Negotiate a hospital bill
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2015, 02:13:24 PM »
Might the bicyclist have some liability if they were at fault? I'd imagine getting anything from them could prove difficult though.

BTDretire

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Re: Negotiate a hospital bill
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2015, 02:35:38 PM »
Might the bicyclist have some liability if they were at fault? I'd imagine getting anything from them could prove difficult though.

 Ya, I'm unclear where fault lies, and at this time my son doesn't know who hit him.
When he regain consciousness he remembers someone talking to him trying keep him
awake, but it wasn't the bike rider. He said he hopes he can find the good Samaritan,
he wants to thank him.

geekette

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Re: Negotiate a hospital bill
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2015, 02:41:12 PM »
I thought all ACA plans had a max oop of something like $6600/year.

okkiedokki

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Re: Negotiate a hospital bill
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2015, 10:28:36 AM »
In addition to what Capsu78 has said, the hospital might have some sort of charity setup to help.  The hospital by me had one that had certain financial requirements that you need to fall between and they gave you a discount based on where you fell.

Bob W

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Re: Negotiate a hospital bill
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2015, 10:38:50 AM »
The insurance company has likely already negotiated a reduced rate over the retail price. But maybe less so than usual considering your high deductible.

If I were paying the bill, I would call the hospital (with the bill in hand) and see how little you could get them to accept for full and immediate lump sum payment. I wold not say the words “cash discount” which is unlikely to get you more than 5%.

I'd be looking for 20 to 50% off, for payment made in full and immediately.

This ---  Talk to a top person in the financial office.   The words you use should be something like what is the maximum discount we can have for payment "today."   Whatever they say come back  Hmmmm? and then being quiet until they talk again.  It will seem like a long wait but wait for it.   They may even come back with a lower number on their own.   If not, say,  something like "I can do x (15% less) right now" and then be quiet again.   Negotiation is all about being quiet.

Good luck.  Sound like he will be o.k..