If you remember Thrifty Cas telling you about our $1,000 meal, I need to make a confession. What was submitted to our insurance was actually $1,300 (not our portion thankfully!). But, even after insurance, our portion of the emergency room was $600 (we are so close to meeting our high deductible if you’re wondering) and we are still waiting to get our portion back for the physician.
You may wonder why we are telling you this. Its because we want to always give you the full scoop, but even more so let you know what we really paid. Even though the hospital showed my portion as $600, I paid $450 which now shows a zero balance!! How did we do it?
The secret is in negotiating your balance by paying the total amount in full and early. We do this all the time and are successful in negotiating the rate a majority of the time.
- Make sure to watch closely for your Explanation of Benefits (EOB). The sooner you can call the hospital/practice, the more bartering power you have.
- Call and plan on paying the amount in one lump sum.
- Speak kindly to the person that answers and after confirming your information ask to talk to their supervisor or administrator.
- When the supervisor gets on the line ask what kind of discount they will give you for paying in full today.
And voila! Our average discount is generally about 25-30% off the remaining portion of the bill. We really can’t give you the definitive answer why they do this, but it appears some of the reasons is due to lesser administrative costs in combination with how difficult it can be to collect the amount in full.
In this day and age (and especially with the extremely high number of potato stabbing victims…especially on Sundays! :)) every little bit helps. And, 25-30% to us is more than a little bit. Share with us some of your stories and advice on how to save money on medical bills!