While medical clinics can be more affordable than hospitals, you still need to be aware of unexpected bills. Case in point is a story we came across on the Consumerist website that profiles one person’s “he said, she said” battle with a medical clinic.
You can read the full story by clicking the link at the bottom of this post, but the important lessons to be learned are summarized by a person who works in the patient accounting department at a hospital:
Any time you are scheduled for a visit and/or a procedure, talk to the actual financial office. Ask for exact amounts of co-pay or out of pocket expense. Have them fax to you a paper stating what you are expected to pay.
Every time my mother has to go somewhere different, I call that office. I verify her insurance and ask exactly what they need her to pay. I then call her insurance company and tell them where she is going and what they said she had to pay, and then I ask if that is correct. The insurance companies almost always have a contract with the providers and know exactly what they allow them to claim.