Author Topic: Negotiated a health care bill  (Read 4952 times)

naners

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Negotiated a health care bill
« on: March 28, 2016, 11:05:47 AM »
My doctor ordered a test from an out-of-network lab (oops). But, I got them to reduce the bill by 30% just by calling the lab and asking them to lower the price. I didn't even have to plead that hard:

"I didn't know this lab was out of network. Can you lower the price? That would make it easier for me to pay my bill right away".

BOOM.

iris lily

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Re: Negotiated a health care bill
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2016, 12:06:23 PM »
Good for you!

rageth

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Re: Negotiated a health care bill
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2016, 06:23:49 PM »
Hmmm I had this happen to my wife and I.  Got a test ordered that was out-of-network and they set us up on a payment plan.  I may have to try this!

naners

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Re: Negotiated a health care bill
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2016, 04:44:50 AM »
Hmmm I had this happen to my wife and I.  Got a test ordered that was out-of-network and they set us up on a payment plan.  I may have to try this!

I think they would really prefer you to pay up front (less risk) so the "I could pay a lower bill in full" line might be key. I was set to keep repeating variations of that a few times, but it only took once.

FIRE me

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Re: Negotiated a health care bill
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2016, 10:14:05 AM »
Well done, naners! How much was the 30%?

naners

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Re: Negotiated a health care bill
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2016, 11:58:29 AM »
Well done, naners! How much was the 30%?

Only sixty bucks but I'm still pretty chuffed :)

elaine amj

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Re: Negotiated a health care bill
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2016, 12:02:09 PM »
That's great!

We're going to have to try this. Recently DH submitted a lab for a 2nd opinion and was quoted $250 or so. Now, he's told it is double that as the dr asked for additional info as he suspected a virus. Turns out he was right, but it didn't affect treatment options anyway. I told DH to ask for a bill reduction as we are paying OOP for this. Hopefully we'll be as successful as you and can knock something off the bill :)

FIRE me

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Re: Negotiated a health care bill
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2016, 10:05:07 AM »
Well done, naners! How much was the 30%?

Only sixty bucks but I'm still pretty chuffed :)

So you were on the phone maybe 10 minutes? That works out to $360 an hour. Very worth it!

naners

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Re: Negotiated a health care bill
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2016, 11:51:00 AM »
Another out of network test (sigh), this time with even more impressive results from negotiation. The initial bill was $210. I called, and the operator didn't even want to let me get through my whole spiel about paying right away - she cut me off and said they could reduce it to a $90 flat fee.

VICTORY!

As an expat Canadian, this is all so weird to me, but when in Rome...

elaine amj

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Re: Negotiated a health care bill
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2016, 01:28:14 PM »
As an expat Canadian, this is all so weird to me, but when in Rome...

I hear ya! I still can't really wrap my head around the US healthcare system and DH worked IN a US hospital for 20 years! I remember helping him review multiple papers discussing how to improve healthcare (when he was studying for his Masters). I still don't get it. I have obviously been thoroughly Canadianised.

A quick call also got our bill dropped. Thanks OP! :)

BTDretire

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Re: Negotiated a health care bill
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2016, 01:09:04 PM »
My 20yr old son was on his skateboard and got hit and knocked out by a bicycle.
He came to shortly before the ambulance arrived. Head contusion, leg contusion,
brain CT, leg xrays, stitches, etc, 4 hrs and he was home. He is fine.
I have a $10k deductible so have been waiting for bills since Nov 15. I got statements from the insurance company showing what they allow the provider to charge. I paid the ambulance fee, but still waiting for the bill from the hospital ER. My son got one bill for something (don't recall), I tried to get him to negotiate it, but he didn't.
 The hospital doesn't seem to be in a hurry to get paid.
 The biker, he didn't stop.

Gibbelstein

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Re: Negotiated a health care bill
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2016, 05:04:12 PM »
Quote
The hospital doesn't seem to be in a hurry to get paid.

After school I worked for an insurance company for a few months.  Part (really, MOST) of my job was getting bills from hospitals so they could close the cases ASAP.  I couldn't get over how little interest they showed in getting paid quickly.  They seem to be geared to work at just one speed. 

Too quick to request a bill?  Sorry, just wait longer. 
Too slow to pay?  Hand it over to collections.

Chris

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Re: Negotiated a health care bill
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2016, 12:45:30 PM »
Another out of network test (sigh), this time with even more impressive results from negotiation. The initial bill was $210. I called, and the operator didn't even want to let me get through my whole spiel about paying right away - she cut me off and said they could reduce it to a $90 flat fee.

VICTORY!

As an expat Canadian, this is all so weird to me, but when in Rome...

It's pretty clear they're just gouging out-of-pocket payers for as much as they think they can get.  As soon as someone calls them on their bullshit, they roll over and give them the same price that the insurance companies are negotiating. 

momcpa

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Re: Negotiated a health care bill
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2016, 02:38:50 PM »
Had a big charge left on a doctor/hospital bill that I couldn't get the insurance company to budge on......and I tried over and over and over.   Finally to just get it settled, I called the medical people and said 'what would it take to settle this today if I agreed to pay off the balance'.  They gave me a nice reduction !!!

About 6 months later, we get a reimbursement for a small portion of it from the insurance company who swore they had no responsibility.   Go figure.

Elle 8

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Re: Negotiated a health care bill
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2016, 04:04:40 PM »
Ha! Whenever I see this subject title, i think 'health care bill', like the ACA (Obamacare). Even though I opened the thread and read it already!

HAPPYINAZ

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Re: Negotiated a health care bill
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2016, 09:18:18 AM »
Thanks for sharing this, good to know!

ender

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Re: Negotiated a health care bill
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2016, 06:08:23 AM »
My doctor ordered a test from an out-of-network lab (oops). But, I got them to reduce the bill by 30% just by calling the lab and asking them to lower the price. I didn't even have to plead that hard:

"I didn't know this lab was out of network. Can you lower the price? That would make it easier for me to pay my bill right away".

BOOM.

I'll have to try this the next time I go to the doctors office!