Fighting a High Medical Bill - Balance Billing

David Trammel's picture

One of the biggest threats to your financial well being is an unexpected medical expense. It is the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States. Usually the result of not having insurance, with ObamaCare that has shifted to other factors. One of those is the practice known as "Balance Billing."

"Balance Billing" is when you have a medical procedure, and the hospital saws the procedure will cost "This Much - Item A" but your insurance company says they will only pay "This Much - Item B". Most of the time, this is a close amount, with you being responsible for the "Co-pay" that's agreed upon when you sign up for your insurance. This is what "In Network" pricing is figured on. Your insurance company negotiates a set of prices from the hospital in advance.

The problem develops when you seek treatment from an out of network hospital (or doctor) because of an emergency. Sometimes it is also because a hospital may be "in network" but the doctor or specialist that handles some of your care isn't.

This can result in the difference between "This Much - Item A" and "This Much - Item B" being thousands of dollars, and resulting in a huge bill.

Here is one such horror story and some ways to fight back

"Taking Surprise Medical Bills To Court"

It goes without saying that hospitals and doctors are fighting tooth and nail to deny us transparency about their billing. And in a world that is facing more and more economic distress, it will only get worse. Some groups of businesses are going to use every means available, legal, illegal and very questionable, to get their money, whether its fair or unfair. The "little people" like me and you are just disposable items that are only worth what we can pay.

First, you must take more proactive control of your health. That means watching what and how you eat, exercise and above all be careful.

Second, learn how you can use alternative healing methods and herbal remedies to treat common illnesses. We here at Green Wizards will help you there. Read our "Green Wizard Book of Herbal Lore" for helpful information. And don't just read, post too.

Third, plan out your health care as much as you can. This may be difficult in an emergency, but if you can, take the time to do some preliminary pricing and discover. Here is a good article that covers how.

"How to Avoid Surprise Medical Bills"

Here's another

"Four tips to help you fight back against high medical bills"

That second article offers a good alternative, see if the provider will accept a cash, not insurance, payment offer. Sometimes a doctor will forgo a larger bill when they know they don't have to put up with the hassle of dealing with the insurance billing procedure. Even though you have insurance, for some minor procedures it may be cheaper to pay cash.

Ultimately you must accept that the game is rigged, and not in your favor. That means you must have a Plan B.

Hospitals and doctors, like any other major company you are forced to deal with, like credit card companies and banks, depend on the threat of ruining your credit score and seeking repayment through the courts to force you to do it their way. They have armies of legal resources all there to stomp on you and extract their pound of ill gotten flesh. Sometimes you need to be willing to walk away.

Accept the fact that you may be forced to step out of the Moneyed Economy if faced with a bill that you can not pay and accept economic "non-personhood".

Bankruptcy may be an option and contrary to all the Social Shaming that the paid media shills put out day to day, about how you MUST be upright and stoic, and do what Society expect, most of our Economic Elite use every trick they can to get theirs and shaft the Government. Use bankruptcy if you need to, to protect your assets. Don't buy into the narrative that you are less of a upright person because you use the same legal tools they all do.

Having said that, document everything you do because at some point you may have to stand before a Judge and explain yourself. Never ignore a summons to appear in Court. Judges know how the 1 percent game the system and if you can give them any small excuse they may rule in your favor. Still protect yourself and protect your assets.

We will look at further ways to do just that in another thread.