Blogs > Your Money

Dave Patterson and Erin Preston, a father-daughter team of Certified Financial Planner® licensees, provide thoughts and suggestions on a broad collection of personal finance topics.  Information provided in this BLOG is intended to be of a general nature and may not be appropriate for all situations.  Readers should consult with their own financial advisors before relying on any information contained herein.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Pay Attention to Your Healthcare Billings

Having just turned 65 last year, I’ve had a tough time getting things straightened out between our Medicare statements and our Blue Cross supplemental coverage. I’ve always paid close attention to our insurance claims to make sure I didn’t pay a bill I wasn’t responsible for. But with two organizations involved, it requires even more attention to detail.

Medicare covers some of the costs and then our Blue Cross coverage picks up where Medicare left off. There’s a Medicare deductible to pay attention to as well as Blue Cross deductibles and co-pays.

Our first problem was that the doctors and hospitals weren’t all sending their bills to Medicare for processing. Then, I discovered that in some cases the bills went to Medicare but were not then forwarded to Blue Cross for processing.

You should never pay a doctor or hospital’s invoice without making sure that your insurance company processed the claim. If you have both Medicare and a supplemental plan, you need to make sure they both have processed the claims. Cross-reference all statements to be sure the claims have been properly reviewed. Read your policies to make sure you’re not being billed for a procedure that should have been covered. Make sure you’re not being billed for a procedure that was not provided to you.

If you have a question, call your doctor, hospital, clinic or lab to get your questions answered. Call your insurance company if something doesn’t seem right.

We can’t help but wonder how the elderly can ever make heads or tails of their medical bills and insurance statements. If your parents are on Medicare, we highly suggest you inquire as to whether they need some help deciphering their medical bills and statements.

Whatever you do, don’t just assume a medical bill is right and send in your check. Take the time to read your policy, understand your coverage and check to make sure you’ve been billed properly.

We expect things may even get more complicated when the new healthcare plan is implemented. Now is a good time to establish good habits with respect to reviewing your healthcare billings. It may even save you some money!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home