Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I saved $400 today

I recently got 2 bills in the mail for medical services that 2 of my sons received. Back in Feb, my oldest had the croup (bad barky cough and difficulty breathing) so we went to a pediatrician appointment. She sent us over to the x-ray area at the hospital outpatient services for a chest x-ray. We gave our insurance card and the paperwork from my son's pediatrician.

Five months later I receive a bill from the hospital not covering $100 of the charges because it needs to towards our deductible. I called up the 800 number and didn't get anywhere the with the customer service rep. I was loosing my patience with her because she couldn't give me a straight answer.

My second situation was a $300 bill for my son's semi-annual appointment with his neurologist. He has autism and this has always been covered except for the specialist co-pay amount.

I called up Aetna again to see why I got this bill. Luckily, I had a competent claims specialist this time on the phone, who quickly told me it was coded incorrectly in Aetna's system and the claim was rejected.

I then asked about the x-ray bill and the claims specialist was quickly able to resolved that as well. It was coded at the hospital that we walked in with no doctor referral.

The bottom line is to check up on all medical bills that you receive. A simply coding error at the doctor's office, hospital or the insurance company can cost you a lot of money. I had to do alot of that when my twins were first born they were in the hospital for almost 2 months. Everything from they were not covered for a procedure because it the date was before the coverage started (ie coverage started the day they were born and couldn't have tests done until they were born) and that you couldn't have two people in the same house with the same birthday. (that is called twins and they said the doctor's were double billing)


Debbie said...

great post... thanks for the information. Sometimes I get billed for something and it just seems so much a hassle getting anyone on the phone... but I can see now how it really helps to be alert about this.

Frugal Work at home mom said...

You do have to be alert. People make mistakes and insurance is sooo tricky.

SavingDiva said...

I agree! There are so many mistakes made in hospital billing...I had a few problems with some dental bills. I had a few crowns replaced...and my insurance said it wouldn't cover them because they were cosmetic.