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Monday, October 6, 2008

Look out for your money - When in doubt, always ask!

When in doubt, always ask – you owe it to yourself!! I’m often telling friends and coworkers that they need to look out for themselves…sometimes feeling like a broken record, but given my experience today, it might be worth saying again. Particularly in these difficult economic times, we all need to be looking out for our money.

I received several bills for some outpatient surgery I had performed in late July. At first, they hadn’t been filed with my insurance, so I sat them to the side in a folder and waited to receive updated bills. The updated bills have all been sent, so today I sat down and reviewed them.

According to the bills, I owed $150 for my outpatient procedure to the hospital, $570.08 to the anesthesiologist for the procedure, $63.40 for one biopsy, and $8.00 for another biopsy. I checked my insurance plan information and called to inquire.

According to the contact at my insurance company, I owed the $150 “copay” to the hospital and $6.40 for the biopsies. The remaining bills should not have been sent! Five minutes on the phone saved me $635.08, because if I hadn’t asked, I would have just paid the bills.

If you don’t have insurance or are requesting a procedure that isn’t covered, asked ahead of time about uninsured rates – most doctors and hospitals offer discounts, and the worst thing they can say is no!

What are you doing to look out for your nest egg? I’d love to hear your saving strategies!

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7 comments:

Elle Charlie said...

Very good advice :) Timely, since I should be getting a ton of insurance/doc bills soon after our forays with the lab tests and ultrasounds.

Octamom said...

Wow! Good, good advice!!

We got hit with...get ready...$7000 cell bill last summer. It obviously was an error, but you would not have believed the craziness of getting it rectified, even though the calls we were billed for took place a couple thousand miles away and we could absolutely prove my husband was in our city during the time those calls took place--

Blessings!

Marva said...

Very sound advice. Ours came in the form of $5449.50 for some of hubby's knee surgery last month. We paid the co-pay up front. Tomorrow I am going to try and get this straigthen out.

Blessings!!!!!

Marcy said...

This is a great tip!

I am sure to scrutinize all of my bills when they come in the mail now. I especially have problems with my cable company adding charges for services that I never signed up for. Usually just $3 or $4 here and there, but it really adds up over time if you don't catch it.

I also watch out for annual fees that shouldn't be there, etc...

You are so right...often just getting on the phone and calling will correct the situation.

Amy said...

Very important advice- thank you! We did a lot of negotiating when we didn't have insurance and we also looked for alternatives for our prescription medications. I ordered from a trusted Canadian pharmacy, which was about half of the price of prescription meds in the US. Sometimes you have to get a little more creative to protect that nest egg. I am proud of you!

HeatherPride said...

Ugh, I have been bombarded with hospital bills since we had our baby in April and she was 6 weeks early, which required a 2 1/2 week stay in the hospital. It has been a nightmare and I just don't trust anyone!! You could probably start a business haggling people's hospital bills for them!

monica said...

I lost the receipt for a pair of pants once. The store gave me a hard time taking the pants back. AFter a few washings, they looked 6 months old! I insisted though b/c of the poor quality. I had to be persistent but I was able to get my money back.