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Question: re: self-pay emergency room bill renegotiation

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Earth_First Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:15 PM
Original message
Question: re: self-pay emergency room bill renegotiation
I recently received my emergency department bill from a visit I had to make about a month ago.

I know that a lot of times, the insurance company will renegotiate a bill to a reduced total before settling on the bill.

Do I have the same odds of doing this myself as a self-paying uninsured patient? How do I go about it?

Thank you, your input is greatly appreciated as I could really use everything I can save by doing this...
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. It can't hurt to try. Be persistent.
Good luck!
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Earth_First Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks!
Even if I only save $2/300 it'll be worth the effort.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:23 PM
Response to Original message
3. It can't hurt to ask, and as long as you continue to pay ON the bill
they probably cannot do much to you.. even if it's $25 a month.. Just tell them you do not have a credit card, and that's all you can afford to pay.. :)

A very long time ago when we had bad insurance, we ended up owing $900 to a hospital.. I wrote them a letter explaining that we had very little money and $25 a month was all we could afford. I sent them $25 every month and never had any problems with them.
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glowing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
4. First ask for an itemized bill.. Make sure that all the charges are correct.
At least then you know exactly what they are charging you for... Then make a payment plan. Sometimes, the hospital puts you into a "higher pay" tier than the service that was actually rendered. If you know any insurance processors, have them take a look at the itemized bill.. they can help a lot with knowing if you were overcharged on any items.
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notesdev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
5. In your position
Tell them you simply can't afford to soak up any cost-shifting. Maybe give them a flat price you are willing and able to pay, say make the bill this or get nothing, if I'm going to be chased for money then I'm keeping everything I got. Works even better if you are self-employed and judgment-proof.
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AlabamaLibrul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Might as well do this, they'll either help you or they won't nt
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doc03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
6. Good luck with that. My brother broke his ankle a few years
ago, when I went to the hospital to pick him up I took a pair of crutches that I had. The hospital had already given him a pair crutches and charged him $600 for them, even though he never even used them they wouldn't remove them from his bill because they took them out of their plastic bag.
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Saphire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:44 PM
Response to Original message
7. They always have for me. I have no insurance, and my last bill was
reduced from $1200.00 to about $700.00.
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Abq_Sarah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. Our local hospital will knock off 40%
From the total if you pay in full.

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doc03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:53 PM
Response to Original message
8. Years ago when my father was in the hospital his primary
physician went on a 3 week vacation to Europe and another doctor filled in for him. We got a bill from both doctors, the bill for one that filled in was over $3000 and the bill from the doctor on vacation for over $4000. Being my dad was on Medicare he owed around $1500 for his 20% share. I called Medicare and told them the one doctor was on vacation in Europe at the time and we weren't going to pay it. They said it was perfectly legal the one doctor gets paid for hospital visits and the other gets paid for managing the case. In other words the doctor gets his vacation paid for by the taxpayers and the patient.
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WhiteTara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 09:22 PM
Response to Original message
10. Yes. Go for it!
Ypu have a great chance. Be nice. Let them know they are helping you and you are grateful. Be rude, you'll get nothing.
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mrmpa Donating Member (707 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:34 PM
Response to Original message
11. Ask for 15% off the bill if it's an amount you can pay all at once, there
is a hospital in the Pittsburgh area that will take 15% off the bill if you pay it within 10 days. My mom just had a $200 bill from them and it was reduced to $170 and she paid it immediately after receiving the bill. Good luck.
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99th_Monkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
12. I was uninsured for awhile, had very little income,
before I became eligible for Medicare, and often I could get the hospital to
write off money owed for medical services, once I documented my very low income.

Of course, every hospital is different so there are no guarantees. But hey,
you got nothing to loose but a little time trying, and everything to gain.
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