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Never Let an Emergency Health Bill Catch You by Surprise Again by Following these Tips

Getting hit with a hefty medical bill is not really something that people look forward to. Still, it’s an unwelcome thing that you can expect after emergencies or even a simple routine checkup with your doctor.

At the end of the day, the price you’re charged would depend on your insurance coverage. The good news is that you can preemptively lower your bills by taking these extra steps before you head into your appointment.

Do Your Research

Tero Vesalainen/Shutterstock: Find out whether standard procedures like flu shots are covered in full or partially by your insurance

Remember that package your insurance provider usually sends at the beginning of the year? You might want to spend a few hours pouring over that.

Read the fine print and find out for yourself the exact benefits and limitations of your health insurance plan. Doing this instead of assuming that it would cover all the procedures and expenses you’ll need would prevent surprises when your hospital bill comes in asking for more than you anticipated.

Staying within Your Network

When you buy into a health insurance policy, you’ll get access to a network of healthcare providers that’ll save you money because of your plan. Availing services outside of this would mean a more expensive bill as not every hospital or lab would accept your insurance.

Before coming in for a procedure or appointment, make sure that the provider is in your network so you can avoid being billed a higher rate.

Ask the Right Questions

StockLite/Shutterstock: Use your doctor appointments to  help you know more about the details of your coverage

And when you’re already at the doctor’s office, you might want to use your appointment to ask about the more specific aspects of your coverage. Ask your physician which tests or treatments your insurance covers.

This is a must especially if your doctor is asking you to undergo a blood test or an electrocardiogram (ECG) test. Sometimes, your insurance would cover one test but not cover another one of the same kind.

Comparing Costs

Not all pharmacies and labs will charge you the same amount for the same products and services. Save yourself some money by comparing costs first before choosing a healthcare provider to go to.

You can call your insurance provider as well to get advice on which facilities can save you money on your health bill. Sites like FAIR Health Consumer or Clear Health Costs are also worth looking into.

Planning Ahead

LightField Studios/Shutterstock: A study found that 85% of ambulance usage ended up with patients getting hit with an out-of-network bill

Medical emergencies are unpredictable. You’ll likely have no time to find out which hospitals are covered by your insurance when an emergency happens.

So before one does, take time to look into the hospitals near you that are covered and see which services are under your policy.

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