Health & Wellness, Health insurance policy, High insurance bills, High medical bills, Insurance company, Stacey Pogue -

The Price of Good Health: Handling the Financial Strain of Medical Bills

Health & Wellness, Health insurance policy, High insurance bills, High medical bills, Insurance company, Stacey Pogue -

The Price of Good Health: Handling the Financial Strain of Medical Bills

medical billsBy Tamiya King

The average American citizen shouldn’t have to enlist the help of an Ivy League health policy expert to figure out their medical bill. But, sometimes, that’s what it takes. There are more and more cases in which people are charged shockingly high amounts for health care referrals, even if the referral came from their primary care physician. The difference between seeing an in-network regular doctor and going to a specialist could mean hundreds of dollars. In many cases, the insurance company will not waive these charges, unless you have another health insurance policy that will take over the cost of the bill.

About 50 percent of Americans who have insurance through their jobs have the good fortune of having a high payment for medical services removed from their bill after speaking with the insurance company directly. But that doesn’t mean that nearly everyone does their best to avoid the headache that comes with unexpected and high insurance bills. Even the most reliable insurance companies can’t always protect consumers from high health care costs.

The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a survey of more than 2,000 people, which indicated that almost one-third of people with private health insurance stated they’d gotten surprise medical bills when their insurance company paid less than anticipated.

Renee Hsia, a health policy and emergency medicine professorCouple counting money at the University of California San Fransisco, stated that people usually hope their expensive bill is just a one-time thing. However, she asserts that these expenses are the rule instead of the exception. Even when people do all they can to pay their insurance bill on time and stay within their network, they aren’t completely immune to paying a large out-of-pocket amount for health care.

One of the reasons people are so surprised about their high charges is because they’re not sure what all the jargon that comes with health insurance actually means. Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a surgery concerning this, and only 4 percent of the people who responded were able to answer all 10 of the questions on the survey correctly. Less than three-fourths of the participants know what the term “deductible” meant.

However, there are still a considerable amount of people who have an accurate understanding of health insurance and how it works. But this doesn’t guarantee that they can get an accurate quote for a health procedure in advance. Sometimes, people search online to see if a particular surgery, treatment or doctor is covered by insurance, but the health insurance website sometimes contains outdated information.

Stacey Pogue, from the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a think-tank in Texas, provides a relatable analogy to help people understand the costs that come with health care. She asserted in a report about surprise medical billing that one major reason for the shock that comes with many insurance bills is that patients are billed separately for each provided service. It’s the equivalent of going to a restaurant and receiving a bill from the host, chef, waiter and bus boy, and negotiating with one or more of these people before deciding on a price, even though some will not be willing to entertain a lower fee.

As with most major purchases, choosing the right health insurance company will likely take time and a considerable amount of research. It is also advisable for families to create an emergency fund for the purpose of covering unexpected health care bills.


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