How to Avoid Surprise Medical Bills

There’s no worse feeling than opening up an unexpected medical bill in the mail. This is especially true because medical bills can be incredibly expensive. But doing some research and making some simple changes can help you prevent a lot of these surprise expenses from happening.

Ensure Providers Are In-Network

What does it mean to be in-network? An in-network provider has contracted with your insurance to provide discounted rates for services and treatments which results in significantly reduced copays for you. Going outside of your network could result in incredibly heavy bills that you have to shoulder on your own.

Get Better Health Insurance

While no one plans to be sick or to get seriously injured, it happens. And if (and when) it does happen, having poor coverage could mean you have to pay thousands of dollars to meet your deductible before your insurance pays a cent.

Instead of trying to get the lowest price for your health insurance, think about it differently. Health insurance is a bulwark against costly medical bills that arise from unexpected accidents. When you think about the different health risks you face every day simply by driving a car or by using power tools or playing a sport, it becomes easier to feel good about paying more for good coverage.

Over the long term, the possibility of getting seriously injured in the process of performing relatively routine tasks is higher than you think. Let your health insurance cover the risk instead of you.

Ask Questions

One of the best ways to ensure that you won’t get surprise medical bills is to ask questions about the billing at your respective doctors’ appointments. For example, if you discover that you have asthma and need asthma medication, ask your doctor to clarify what your insurance will cover.

In some cases, doctors might default to a specific medicine but can prescribe other ones as well that tend to be cheaper. Asking questions to clarify the medical bill will help your doctor tailor your care to better fit your financial situation as well as your health needs.

Preventing surprise medical bills takes vigilance and awareness of your insurance situation as well as of the ins and outs of the different treatments you or your loved ones receive. Making the effort to stay up on these things will pay off. You’ll have more peace of mind knowing exactly what you have to pay to get good healthcare.

Read this next: How to Deal with Insurance When Recovering from an Accident

Simon Greenberg

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