How to Predict the Size of Your Next Major Medical Bill

How to Predict the Size of Your Next Major Medical Bill
October 06 01:00 2015

How to Predict the Size of Your Next Major Medical Bill

People avoid going to the doctor for many reasons, but cost is a huge deterrent. According to a 2014 report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 26% of women and 20% of men delayed or went without health care because of the cost.

Medical debt is no joke: For years, it has been the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the U.S., and unpaid medical bills can trash your credit standing, though newer credit scoring models are starting to weigh medical debt differently. (You can see if medical debts or collections are hurting your credit scores for free on

Most people know health care can get expensive, but part of the problem is unpredictability. Even if you have health insurance, understand your deductible and memorize your co-pay amounts, it sometimes seems like there’s no way to know exactly what your bills will amount to.

Estimating your medical bills before you receive treatment isn’t easy, but it’s getting better. Marty Rosen, a vice president at Health Advocate, a health care advocacy and patient assistance company, said cost transparency has improved significantly in the past three to five years, allowing people to shop around for affordable treatment options.

“Is it perfect? No. Is it improving? Yes, and if you gauge it against a bigger time horizon, the changes are profound,” Rosen said. The hope is that improving transparency in health care pricing will not only help people save money but also make better decisions about their health care.
Trying to save money while seeking medical treatment can be as frustrating as having medical problems in the first place. Pricing on the same services varies wildly among providers in the same area, and if you don’t ask ahead of time, you’re unlikely to have any idea how much a health care provider will charge you…

Read full story at Fox Business
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