You or a family member may have recently had some health care event, such as a hospitalization. Now, over the coming days, the medical bills will arrive at your home. Every medical provider who contributed to your treatment is going to send a bill, and you are the person who bears the financial obligation for payment. If you have health insurance, the insurer may pay a large percentage of your medical bills.However, an alarmingly large and growing segment of the American population lives each day without health insurance. Insurance experts estimate that over 48 million Americans are living without health insurance. And that number of uninsured persons is expected to increase quickly as the economy worsens and unemployed workers lose their insurance coverage.When those bills show up after a health care event, a serious financial crisis happens. That patient, or the patient's family, has to figure out a way to pay those medical bills. Those bills can be in the thousands of dollars. For more serious illness and treatment, the bills can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.If you make mistakes while taking care of these medical bills, you could put yourself in a financial situation from which you could never recover.Think for a moment how ridiculous the system is for providing medical services. You go to your medical provider for a visit. No one gives you a price list of services. You are not told how much ANYTHING costs while you're being treated. Usually you find out the cost of your medical services when they present the bill to you.Would you agree to buy groceries like that? Would you get your car repaired with that kind of billing arrangement? Of course not! You wouldn't even bury your dead cat without knowing what it would cost!But, in medical services, ignorance about billing is the accepted method among most consumers.Sadly, many of the medical bills are incorrect...sometimes monstrously incorrect. Billing errors happen daily on all levels...Doctor to patient, doctor to coding staff or billing service, billing service to patient.So, what can be done? How can a regular person...an average American faced with giant medical bills...determine the correct medical charges and get correct medical bills?Retain a Patient Advocate.Hardly anyone knows about Patient Advocates. You can be sure that the medical providers and insurance companies will NEVER tell you about them.Why?Think about it from an insurance company's viewpoint. If the patient hires a Patient Advocate, and the Advocate does his job, the chances are good that the insurance company will pay more on the patient's claim.Think about it from the medical provider's viewpoint. If the patient hires a Patient Advocate and the Advocate does his job, the chances are good that the medical provider is going to receive substantially less money for his services.A Patient Advocate is a person or company thato Will collect all your bills, claim forms and statements, even if they're in a "shoebox"
o Analyzes the bills
o Submits appeals for incorrect charges
o Negotiates settlements with medical providersThe Patient Advocate can cut hundreds or thousands of dollars out of incorrect bills.EVERYTHING in a medical bill is negotiable. Don't be the sucker that pays the bills without making sure they are accurate. Medical providers negotiate their bills with insurance companies EVERY DAY. Why should you pay more?NEGOTIATE!!