Yes, you can negotiate with the billing department of your hospital or doctor's office to request a lower balance on that high medical bill. Compare the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance company with the bill sent to you by the hospital. Check with your health care provider (i.e., the hospital or lab billing department) to ask about financial assistance and charity programs they offer. When you return home with large medical bills, you can seek financial assistance outside of the hospital.
The insurance company refuses to pay for a medical procedure, even if you went to a network hospital, by charging you for the bill. Increasingly, certain doctors or departments at "network hospitals " are separate from the hospital, do not have an agreement with the insurance company, and are therefore considered "out-of-network". Next, check the dates of service, along with the billing codes for all procedures and services listed on the hospital bill(s). About half of the states have laws detailing the type of financial assistance a hospital must offer, as well as who, based on family income, is eligible to apply for it, according to the National Consumer Law Center.
The first step in negotiating the hospital bill is to make sure you have in your possession and understand all the documents relevant to your case. This means that the insurance company pays "in-network rates" for services rendered (which are usually higher than out-of-network rates), and the hospital agrees to accept these "in-network rates" as payment in full for services rendered. Work with your doctor and the hospital to gather the relevant evidence that will allow you to settle the claim. After receiving care, you will receive a bill from the hospital and an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your health insurance company.
This comes from the hospital and lists the total charges along with the discounts offered, the insurance company's coverage and what you, as the patient, owe. Hospitals are often willing, and in many cases obligated, to work with patients who cannot pay the cost of care. This is the amount that providers usually accept from insurance companies as payment in full, and it is the amount you should aim for in your negotiations. But if you are having surgery or a planned procedure, it is possible to negotiate your medical bills before you undergo treatment.