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3: Analyze Your Circumstances

Verify Your Billing Records

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Review medical bills and explanations of benefits (EOB) for mistakes — especially within billing codes. Make sure your bill accurately reflects your treatment(s) and payments. Check with your insurer if something is not paid and you think it is an error. Follow these guidelines for medical billing.

  • Get a list of charges. If you go to an emergency room, hospital or urgent care center, ask for and carefully review the list of charges.
  • Comb through paperwork. Carefully review, item by item, the charges on your bill, payments by your insurer (on the explanation of benefits) and payments you have made.
  • Work with a patient advocate. Many hospitals have patient advocates who can help you through negotiations of your medical bills from the facility.
  • Work with a professional medical billing advocate. For a fee, these services can help you negotiate charges and avoid long-term consequences of draining your savings or filing for bankruptcy.
  • Get responses in writing. Keep careful notes about conversations and correspondences with your health service provider.
  • Keep billing records in order. Keep your billing, explanation of benefits and correspondence records in date order. Summarize what the next step will be if there are errors.
SAM tips

Deducting Medical and Dental Expenses From Taxes

Another reason to keep good billing records is that you may be able to deduct medical and dental expenses if you meet certain IRS guidelines. If you are self-employed or otherwise work as an independent contractor, your health insurance premiums are deductible on federal income taxes. Ask your tax advisor regarding any implications of taking deductions.

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