Negotiating Healthcare Bills: How to Go About It

A prime example of adding insult to injury is receiving an unexpectedly high medical bill after undergoing necessary treatment. In fact, many people battling chronic illnesses are also heavily burdened by astronomical healthcare bills they’re simply unable to pay.

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Don’t empty that piggy bank just yet! It’s often possible to negotiate a lower medical bill.

But there is a way to lighten the load. Here are some tips for how you can negotiate your medical bills:

  1. Determine what a fair price would be for the treatment you’ve received. is a website that lists medical and dental procedures and what they should cost.
  2. Call the person or department in charge of billing at your doctor’s office or the hospital where you received your treatment and ask politely for a discount. If you’re paying out-of-pocket or have a low income, make sure to share that information with them. You could qualify for charity care discounts.
  3. If you’re able to secure a lower price, make sure you ask for it in writing.  You may need to provide a copy of the new agreement to the separate office that sends the bill.

As contacting the appropriate parties and negotiating your bill can be quite time consuming, there are medical negotiation services available who will do the work for you in exchange for a percentage of your savings. They generally will not charge you if they’re unable to secure a lower charge, but make sure before enlisting their help.

Remember, you have the right to know what a procedure will cost ahead of time. Though it often takes persistent questioning on your part, finding out the total price (including all additional fees) your provider charges ahead of time will enable you to call other providers and facilities to shop around for the best price.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with a condition that will require ongoing medical care, visit the Vitals Patient Education Center for information on what to expect.

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