Author Topic: Paying for an expensive hospital bill!  (Read 2101 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Paying for an expensive hospital bill!
« on: December 23, 2014, 08:25:25 AM »
So yesterday I received a bill from the hospital for $550. This may not seem like much, but I'm a grad student and I only make $1200 per month, and after I pay rent, utilities, and put aside grocery money I only get to keep about $200 to pay for everything else. I'm not sure how I should pay this bill. Should I do their monthly payment plan or take the total from my very small emergency savings (~$3000)?

Also, is there anything I can do to get the bill lower? The visit was for an ultrasound after I got an IUD when the clinic I went to thought it wasn't placed right. The IUD procedure was 100% covered by my insurance, but when they said I had to get an ultrasound I thought that would be covered too. Apparently not.

Thanks for reading.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Paying for an expensive hospital bill!
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2014, 08:33:55 AM »
First, I would call your insurance company to make sure that this isn't covered.  Most likely, they will pay part of the costs.  Second, I would explain to the hospital that you can not pay the $550 and ask if there is a cash discount or something similar.  My brother got a $2200 charge reduced to $1500 just by asking.  Third, I would set up a payment plan with the hospital.  Most are happy to get as little as $10 or $20 a week.  Good luck.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Paying for an expensive hospital bill!
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2014, 09:26:38 AM »
First, find your insurance information, go on line, and read up on your coverage.

(For example, my son had a pre-planned, pre-approved surgery and my insurance company denied ALL coverage.  After the pre-approval and referral.  When I looked up my insurance coverage, my out-of-pocket costs for an outpatient surgery was supposed to be $125.  So, we contacted the insurance company and the hospital did also and it was covered.)

In any event - most insurance has *some* ER coverage, though it may only be 50%.  Check your coverage!  Then call the hospital with the result, once you know the answer.  Then, negotiate.  Many hospitals have "hardship" funds also, you could ask about that. (Donations that cover people who cannot afford their treatment.)

Looking up the info online might be hard if you haven't ever created an account, but it's totally worth it!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 36
Re: Paying for an expensive hospital bill!
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2014, 10:35:40 AM »
Agreed with what is said above.  In addition to that there might be a charity fund the hospital system has that can reduce your bill based on your income that you might be able to receive assistance.  I've always just setup a payment plan with the hospital for a 24 month payoff and they've adjusted my bill to reflect that and not hand an issue.


  • Bristles
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Re: Paying for an expensive hospital bill!
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2014, 11:57:58 AM »
Charity care is definitely possible if your insurance doesn't cover it.  Worst case should be a 15-20% cash discount (in which case I work say use the emergency fund).

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Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Paying for an expensive hospital bill!
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2014, 12:08:21 PM »
And in the event that your insurance doesn't cover, call the hospital's billing directly, and politely ask them to reduce the bill. There's a standard number of times they have to hear you say something like "I can't afford '$ amount' can you do anything better for me?" before they can do the rock bottom offers, but there IS a rock bottom reduction they can offer if you follow through on the asking...