Saturday, May 14, 2016

Protect Yourself from Surprise Medical Bills

As highlighted by Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News  two times this past week: once on Monday, May 9th, 2016, and the second on Friday, May 16th, 2016, your insurance may not be providing the protection you think. This could result in Major Surprises when you received your medical bills....


"How to Protect Yourself From Surprise Medical Bills"
As this news segment highlights, Monday, May 9th, 2016, "How to Protect Yourself from Surprise Medical Bills-'Nearly one third of Americans are blindsided by surprise medical bills, including one woman who was billed $100,000 for services that she thought were covered by insurance.'"

This fact is astounding and worth repeating. Nearly 1/3 of Americans ARE surprised by their medical bills. They believe they are covered by their insurance and they are not.  In this segment a woman did her due diligence, researched her doctors and providers and received a surprise final bill of $100,000.00. That is not a SURPRISE bill anyone wants to receive. Between the time she researched her spinal surgery and the surgery was completed, her doctor that once accepted her insurance no longer did. To make matters worse, many of the hospital providers such as the anesthesiologist also did not accept her insurance even though the hospital was considered in-network.  You can Never Be TOO SURE.

Make sure to get a list of EVERY provider that will be treating you and check with your insurance ahead of time.  When you call your insurance be sure to get a reference number for your call, document the date and time you called, what will be covered and what you are expected to cover, and also document the representative's name you spoke with.

If there ARE surprises DO NOT be afraid to advocate for yourself and appeal.  There are appeals processes. Often times you will lose your first appeal, however keep on trying and take it as far as you need to go.  Often times, you are well within your rights and you can win.  If needed, get your local and state representative involved and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners:

Another corresponding story, on Friday, May 13th, 2016, from

As this news segment highlights, Friday, May 13th, 2016 from NBC Nightly News, "Sticker Shock: A Visit to the ER Could Land you in Major Debt"-Friday, May 13 · Clip 7 of 8
Sienna D' Andrea's parents were stuck paying $100,000 in bills for her emergency heart surgery, just one of many caught between insurance companies and hospitals.
Sticker Shock: "A Visit to the ER Could Land You in Major Debt"

What happens, when you have to go to the Emergency Department?  You will not have time call ahead and find out who is covered and who isn't-it's an Emergency. If you go to an in-network hospital often times more than 20% of the Emergency Physicians are not in-network at that facility.  So you will have to be ready to dispute your bill. For one family, they too ended up with a bill of $100, 000 when their infant daughter was rushed to the ED and needed emergency heart surgery. Her mom had to quit her job to dispute the charges and now the family has reduced the amount owed to $10,000.  Fortunately their daughter is a healthy, thriving 3-year old.  

What has our society come to that a working mom had to quit her job to keep her family from medical bankruptcy?

The importance of these two stories is their is help and as a SOCIETY we must do something. You must make the investment to have great comprehensive insurance that fits your needs, and take the time to understand the insurance you have.  You don't have to have high premiums to have great insurance coverage for you and, or your family. Contact someone today so you are properly insured and you can begin fully understanding your benefits. 

Wouldn't you like to save money and have a sense of peace knowing you have a thorough plan? 

Be the Super Hero of your family and help your family to have Super Hero powers by having the best protection and insurance.

A Benefits Consultant can help you understand your coverage and how to fully research and understand your plan.

Please contact:
Stephanie Puryear
Benefits Consultant, Licensed Insurance Broker
Phone: (847) 530-8943