How To Review Your Medical Bill
After you visit a provider, you may get a bill telling you how much you have to pay. Providers can include doctors, hospitals and others who give you healthcare. The amount you owe will depend on a number of things. Those may include whether you have insurance, as well as your type of plan and its cost-sharing requirements. They may also include whether you received services in or out of your plan's network.
Medical bills may look different, but they all include the same basic information. Your bill tells you the services you received and the dates you received them. It also states the cost for each service and the total amount you owe. Most often, you’ll get a separate bill for each type of specialty care. For example, when you visit a hospital, you may get a bill from your surgeon, and you also may get a separate bill from the radiologist who read your x-ray.
- Before your visit, ask your doctor which services you will get. Ask how much you will have to pay for each.
- When you get a bill, make sure it’s right. Look for overcharges, double-billing and incorrect dates of service. Ask about any codes you don’t understand. If you believe there are errors in the bill, even minor ones, contact your provider.
- If each procedure or service isn’t listed separately, ask for an itemized bill.
- Make sure the procedures and total payment amounts on your bill match your explanation of benefits (EOB). If the EOB is not right, contact your insurer.
- Use the FH Consumer Cost Lookup to compare the charge amounts on your bill with what providers typically charge for the services you received.
- Keep records! Save all receipts as proof of payment. Write down your healthcare visits and services received. Record the names of providers, bills and the amounts you have paid with the dates of payment. This helps avoid confusion if there is a question about whether you paid a bill.
If you can’t pay, act quickly. Contact your provider to talk about lower fees or payment options.
After you visit a provider, you’ll typically receive a bill telling you how much you have to pay. Providers can include healthcare professionals, hospitals and other types of healthcare facilities. The amount you owe will depend on a number of factors – whether you have insurance, your type of plan and its cost-sharing features, and whether you received services in or out of your plan’s network. It’s important to look at your bill carefully and understand all the items on it to make sure you’re being charged the correct amount.
Is My Bill Correct and Does It Match My EOB?
Review your bill for any errors—even if you think they are minor. There may be treatments listed that you did not receive, charges that are higher than what you were told, a misspelled name or duplicate charges for the same service. If you spot any errors, contact your provider or his or her billing department.
You should also compare your bill to the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) form you received from your insurer, which lists the services you received and how much your plan paid. Your insurer’s payment should be listed under the “payments” section on your bill. If it hasn’t been applied, or you’re not sure, contact your provider’s billing department. The EOB and bill should match. If they do not, contact your insurer.
Tip: Some bills may only list a total amount owed, even if you received more than one service. If that happens, request an itemized bill that lists every single service and item you are being asked to pay. This makes it easier to spot errors.