Managing medical bills is a necessary part of caregiving

Managing medical bills is part of the job when you’re caring for an older adult. Unfortunately, those bills are often complicated, filled with errors, and sometimes beyond your older adult’s budget.

We found a helpful image that breaks down medical bill management into 10 clear steps. This organized list makes the job much easier to tackle and helps you negotiate discounts or payment plans.

10 steps for managing medical bills

Many seniors have multiple health conditions, see several specialists, get hospitalized, or regularly have complex treatments. That means they get a lot of confusing medical bills.

This image will help you focus on one step at a time. After going through this list, you’ll be confident knowing that the bill is correct and that the payment plan is the best one possible for your older adult’s financial situation.

Step One: Understand Your Paperwork

It’s easy to become confused by medical bills and Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance company. A bill comes from your insurance provider and tells you what you need to pay. Your insurance company sends you an EOB explaining why you need to pay that amount. An EOB will usually state the retail rate of the service you received, the lower contracted rate the provider has agreed to accept as payment, how much the insurance company will pay, and how much you should pay.

Step Two: Don’t Pay Right Away

You might feel like you need to pay a bill immediately, but given the number of cases in which a medical bill contains inaccuracies and overcharges it’s better to wait. Do not pay until you have determined the amount billed is what you truly owe.

Step Three: Verify Charges

Medical bills are often confusing. Don’t pay what you don’t understand. Request an itemized bill from your provider. You’d be surprised at the number of bills that contain errors. According to Medical Bill Advocates of America, more than 80% of bills for a hospital stay contain…

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