Tips to Save On Insurance While You Visit The Emergency Room
A visit to the emergency room can be quite stressful. It is safe to assume that you are there because of a serious medical issue, and you probably don’t want to worry about your insurance policies right now. However, keeping a cool demeanor and thinking deeply before making important decisions regarding money is absolutely important. Let’s hope that you wouldn’t need to visit the emergency soon, but it is good to be prepared. Here are five tips that will see you through your emergency visit and also help you save big time on your medical bills.
Answer Questions About Your Health Honestly
When you are in the emergency room, you will be asked a multitude of questions regarding your health. So be prepared to answer them. If you already have some type of chronic disease, and you are taking medication for it, make sure you remember them. In case you are allergic to any specific medicine or group of medicine, mention these, too. Your family’s medical history and your medical history — such as any other genetic health conditions that runs in your family, any history of previous medical conditions, information on previous surgeries — should also be divulged. It can be extremely difficult to remember all these especially at the time of emergency. Hence, it is crucial to keep them handy written somewhere and kept to be used during these critical times. In case you are senior, both you and your partner’s information must be written and kept safely and easily accessible when the time comes it is needed.
Think Again If You Need To Go To The ER
Before you hastily decide to go to the ER, ask yourself this question: do I really need to go to an ER or will urgent care do? The latter can treat a lot of conditions and injuries that used to be treated in the ER, including burns, broken bones, and deep cuts that require stitches. Opting for urgent care can save you a lot of money while getting the same kind of treatment. In case there are other severe and life-threatening conditions like a heart attack, stroke, critical head injuries, or seizures, go to the ER. Often, urgent care accepts health insurance. If your plan is accepted, then you won’t have to pay too much — just the co-pay! Another thing that should be kept in mind before you dial the emergency number is that urgent care can save you a lot of time given how the waiting time at an ER usually lasts hours. Often, insurance companies find out if your reason to go to the ER was valid. For example, if you went to the ER for a strep throat, your insurance company might refuse to pay for you.
Know About Your Rights In The ER
The Affordable Care Act says that your ER treatment is to be covered by your health insurance plan. You don’t need to inform them beforehand if an emergency situation arises. In fact, you don’t even have to worry if the hospital is outside your network. However, it is wise to check with your doctor first, if possible, and if there is time. The doctors in the ER might ask you to do several tests. If, by any chance, you feel like you don’t need to do them all, ask the doctor if it can be done later. Remember, tests done in the ER can cost quite an amount of money.
If you do have time to speak to your family physician, make it a point to ask them if the tests are really needed since they can give you an honest opinion knowing about your health better than the doctors in ER.
Check Your Bills From The ER
As mentioned before, your insurance provider should be paying for your ER bills ideally. Also, you will be charged the same as in-network rates. However, if you are treated by someone who is outside your network, they might bill you directly as there might be a difference between what they charge and what your provider is paying. All your ER bills should be submitted to the insurance company directly by you. Your insurance company cannot charge you more copayments or coinsurance.
Health expenses can make a big dent in your savings if you are not paying enough attention. Hence, be prudent and wise while taking decisions related to health.
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