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Managing Your Medical Bills

Table of Contents

Topic Overview

Medical bills. They can be confusing and stressful. But with some basic know-how and organization, you can manage them—and avoid overpaying for your health care.

After you receive a health care service, you get:

This may sound simple. But when you get a bill, then an insurance statement, then a revised bill based on the statement or a payment you've already made, things can get confusing.


Take these simple steps to keep your medical bills in order. You can organize paper bills and statements, or electronic versions on a computer.

Update your list or spreadsheet with each bill and insurance statement you receive and with each payment you make.

Don't be surprised if you get several bills for the same care. For example, for a surgery in a hospital, you might get bills from the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, and the hospital. Or for an X-ray, you'll get bills from the imaging facility and the radiologist who reads the image.

Compare your medical bill and insurance statement

Read carefully through your medical bill and insurance statement. Make sure that:

If you have questions about any part of a bill, call your provider's billing office. And for questions about what's on your insurance statement, call your insurer.

Fix errors

Billing mistakes can happen. Before you pay anything, be sure to read your billing paperwork carefully. Look at your health insurance policy.

If you have payment problems

Not paying a medical bill can ruin your credit rating. Talk to the provider's medical billing office. This is one key to keeping your account from going to a collections agency.

Credits for Managing Your Medical Bills

Current as of: February 11, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine

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