Posted on: Mar 10, 2011 08:19 AM
Some of you may know you can negotiate your medical account balances; many of you may not.
I had a payment agreement with a health care provider for over a year, and had been paying them $25/month. (12/09 lumpectomy) The balance is currently almost $900, which would mean another 3 years for them to get their money. I called them this morning and offered $400 to settle the account in full. They said yes.
(It can take some negotiating; their first offer was $640; I told them that wasn't doable, so I would continue with the $25/month. They finally agreed to $400.)
This didn't hurt my case either: I explained that, in the 14 months since incurring the charges at their facility I also now have bills related to a 2nd malignancy in 12/10, plus bilateral mastectomy just 2 months ago. They seemed MORE than willing to get something now and settle the account.
If you are making monthly payments to providers in order to manage out-of-pocket balances, you might consider negotiating with them for a greatly reduced lump sum. Next is my radiation oncologist from 2010. (It does help to give it awhile so that you have a good history of making small payments over a period of time; they know you are trying, BUT they also know you are not willing to put it on your credit card or pay more than you can afford.)
We have done this in the past, both with attorneys and health care providers, and it is a win/win for everybody if you are in a situation where you can only afford small, monthly payments.
My apologies if this has been brought up before; I have not seen this topic addressed.Log in to post a reply
Posts 1 - 6 (6 total)
Mar 10, 2011 07:53 PM mbw wrote:
Does anyone know where I look for a forum on how Medicare covered hospitalization after lumpectomy? BC surgeon pressed...I mean pressed...me to conserve breasts b/c I had such a small likely contained tumor. She sold me on "and you can get a lift and reduction".
Well, I went with her advice only to learn that at last moment plastic surgeon said probably I would pay $3K for the lift/reconstruction as cosmetic. I thought, ok, that's fair, why should tax payers pay that part.
The thing is, all along they had said I would be staying overnight...and I did...but now I am worrying that Medicare will say it was the cosmetics that put me in the hospital and that I have some financial obligation when I probably COULD have gone home but just followed MD's blindly into staying (and I was an afternoon operation).
Does anyone know if a hospital bill might be coming in from left field as "you had cosmetic too so you pay for the hospital"
By the by, my biggest regret is not going for the radical mastectomy of both...I am a person who was tired of being a double D and didn't care at age 69 one way or the other...the "conserving" was more important to the BC surgeon than to me...Am I going to be bankrupt for not sticking to my guns?
Mar 10, 2011 11:25 PM lago wrote:
Although reconstruction is not necessary for your survival according to the 1998 law passed all insurance companies must cover reconstruction procedures for following breast cancer surgery that includes procedures to the opposite breast needed for symmetry. I know Medicare is complicated but I would expect they would have to cover this too.
If they reject it fight it. My insurance initially rejected my reconstruction… Ended up they used the wrong code.
Here is the federal law: link
Mar 11, 2011 01:12 AM, edited Mar 11, 2011 01:13 AM by sunshinegal
Hi lago, thanks for including the link to the law, I'd never read the text of it before.
I noticed it covers mastectomy but did not see that lumpectomy is covered by the law -- this is the situation MBW is in. Did I miss something?
Apr 22, 2011 05:29 AM edwards750 wrote:
We all know by now we have to be persistent with the insurance companies. I only use drs in network and they already know what Blue Cross, my provider, will allow for the procedure. I will not pay a bill until I get the EOB from Blue Cross. The Womens Health Center here tried to get me to pay on the front end and I said no. When the EOB arrived from the insurance co I owed $78 instead of $400 which is what they tried to get me to pay. Blue Cross told me the drs can access what the allowable charge is on the front end so there is no reason for them to try and get you to pay on the front end, end up paying too much and wait on them to refund you. Not happening. I also know if you pay on a bill and they accept it there is nothing they can do. We all have a lot of medical bills with this disease. They think because you have insurance then you should be able to pay the balance.