Do not pay immediately but do not ignore bills: Medical bills are different from other bills you receive and require closer examination. Do not pay the bill until you have received an EOB and determined that the amount billed is what you truly owe. Take the time to make sure your bill is correct but do not ignore the provider's request for payment. Let your provider know that you are working on the bill and request that they do not send the account to a collection agency. They will often give you extra time to resolve issues. Make sure your bills are correct before paying them, but do not let them pile up without any action.
Understand and verify the charges: Don't pay what you don't understand. Request an itemized bill from your provider. Go through the itemized bill to make sure the services were indeed received.
Make sure the bill is adjusted for contracted rates and insurance payments: If your bill does not contain line items that show an adjustment for the contracted rate of insurance payments, that means your insurance was not applied to the bill. Instead of working the issue out with your insurance company, the provider billed you instead. If a bill does not reflect insurance payment or insurance discount, it is a sign that it may be billed incorrectly.
Check that the EOB matches the bill: Make sure that you have an EOB for a bill before making a payment. EOB should state exactly what to expect the provider to bill you for the service.
Be persistent and don't back down until the issue is resolved: Call the provider and your insurance company immediately to resolve the issue. Document all your phone calls. Write down the name of the person you spoke to, date and time. Follow up until the issue is resolved and a revised corrected bill is received.
Ask for an interest-free payment plan or application for financial assistance: If you have determined that the bill is correct, but cannot pay the bill all at once, ask your provider if you can arrange for an interest-free payment plan. Once the provider has allowed you to set up interest-free monthly payments, be sure to keep up your end and make these monthly payments on time. Providers and hospitals often have financial assistance programs available to those who meet the income requirements. Most programs like this will require proof of income documents. If you qualify and are accepted, your bill can be significantly reduced.