After law school, lawyers know big bills. But nothing unnerves the seasoned litigator more than getting exorbitant vague notices of funds due after a traumatic surgery. Their own surgery or a family member’s, no one is in a state of mind to deal with this mound of paperwork filled with insurance and medical jargon.
Use these 5 steps to plan for a financially successful surgery:
- Understand your Health plan – Unless you are moonlighting as a health insurance adviser, review your health plan documents with your firm’s insurance broker. Of course you can always contact the Insurer’s member services division to learn exactly how your coverage works.
- Research your Hospital – Contact your Hospital’s billing department to learn whether the Hospital contracts, or participates with your insurance company’s network. If you discover that they don’t, your insurance claim will become Out of Network resulting in larger out of pocket costs.
- Research network compatibility of all physicians involved in your procedure – This includes Assistant Surgeons, Anesthesiologists, etc. Inquire with your Doctor or Surgeon to discover if anyone involved with your care is not contracted with your Insurer.
- Compare Costs – Healthcare Blue Book (www.healthcarebluebook.com) is an excellent source for comparing the expense of surgical procedures, drugs, Labs, and possible rehabilitation amongst various hospitals and providers. Choosing a different location could result in a better financial outcome.
- Negotiate Out of Network expenses – Question and challenge any expense that you find erroneous or suspicious with your hospital and insurer. Outside of personally haggling with your Insurance company’s Claims division or the billing department of your hospital on your own, your broker can advocate for you through the bureaucratic process.
The uncertainty of surgery does not need to become an uncertain financial boondoggle. Use these 5 steps to take control and become an educated consumer.