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Are You Overpaying? How to Spot Errors on Your Medical Bills

Complex medical bills can make your eyes glaze over. Still, it’s important to review your paperwork and understand what you’re being charged for because mistakes do happen. Although unfamiliar terms and code make errors harder to spot, a little confidence and a few tips can help you catch them.

Learning about the billing process and the most common errors can help you feel more in control and avoid overpaying

1. Once you leave the doctor’s office, a bill is triggered. Your doctor charges your insurance company for the medical services you received. You may be sent a copy of that bill. If you do receive one, there no need to pay anything yet.

2. Many insurance companies use the doctors bill to create your explanations of benefits (EOB) statement. This is not a bill. The EOP breaks down the services you received and notes what amount, if any, will be left for you to pay.

  3. Once your insurance company pays its portion, you receive the actual bill from your doctor’s office. This bill shows all the medical services you received and the remaining balance for which you are  responsible.

Here’s what to look for errors:

1. Spelling mistakes and inaccuracies. Check the spelling of your name and your physician’s name, dates of services, and whether your health insurance provider is up to date.

  2. A detailed list of services. You should see an itemized list of your medical services. Verify that you received every service on thie lost. If a detailed statement of services isn’t included (if your just see a  totally), call your doctor to request one.

3. Common errors. In the list of services, check for double-charging for a single service. If you don’t recognize a service or if the wording is unclear, ask your doctor’s office. Each procedure should be  identified by a standard CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) billing code, which is the same for every provider and facility.

  4. Examine the “unites” section. You may see “units” indicating how much of a given treatment (medical procedure, drug or test) you received. If one look high compared to the other numbers, verify it with  your doctor’s office.

When your medical bill comes, take the time to review it. It’s your money, and you have a right to know where its going. Don’t be afraid to question charges or term with your doctor’s office. Spending a few minutes to get familiar with your bill can save you money.

Cosmo Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agency serving surrounding communities in New Jersey. Cosmo keeps its promise to assure an efficient and creative approach to the services we offer. Each of our clients experience a personalized and long-term relationship with us. Our New Jersey based team of health brokers guides our clients in helping them choose the most cost-effective options. By incorporating the latest in technology-based tools and laws on healthcare, employee benefits, life insurance and finance, we keep our clients up-to-date with the plans that encompass all of their needs, whether it is individual or group insurance.