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Watching Your Wallet: Appealing your medical bills

Watching Your Wallet: Appealing your medical bills
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 5:00 PM CDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Understanding your medical bill can be challenging, and if you want to file an appeal, it can get even harder.

Medical advocates are urging people to not give up when it comes to questioning or even fighting charges on a hospital bill.

However, it does take work, phone calls, emails and filing the proper documents, which also means you have to understand your own insurance plan.

Go over your bill when it arrives. If you have questions about charges or want to see an itemized line-by-line list, call the billing department immediately. That way you can also check for mistakes.

Every insurance plan outlines a way to file an appeal, but the process has become more difficult during the pandemic.

CHRIS VAN HAREN/MEDICAL ADVOCATE: “Plans should have an internal appeal process and, if that is unsuccessful, there is an external appeal process,” said medical advocate Chris Van Haren. “There’s also the possibility of something called a peer-to-peer review.”

Every state has an office of an insurance commissioner. In Michigan, it’s called the Department of Insurance and Financial Services. It’s a place where people can go to help with an insurance claim if an issue was not addressed, or if an insurance company was not responding.

More: Watching Your Wallet

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