According to a variety of sources, it may be best to hold off paying a medical bill until it can be checked for accuracy. A study conducted in 2014 by NerdWallet found that there were errors on 49 percent of all Medicare claims. Advocacy groups such as Medical Billing Advocates of America found that the error rate is as high as 80 percent on all claims.
Depending on the error, it could result in an individual paying more out-of-pocket. This may occur because a service rendered was coded incorrectly or because a service that was never performed got on the bill. Some consumers may even receive a bill from a hospital that represents the cost of a service, medicine or procedure before insurance pays for it. Those who are confused about their bills may want to contact an advocacy service before paying it.
An increasing number of employers are adding advocacy services to their health plans to make it easier for workers to understand. In many cases, it can improve worker productivity and save money for the employer. If that is not an option, it may be a good idea to call the insurance company for clarification about a bill. Those who owe should move quickly to resolve the issue as providers may report unpaid bills to credit agencies.
Even when the bill is correct, many people are unable to meet their obligations. One of the benefits of bankruptcy is that after filing, creditor contact and harassment must cease. The successful completion of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy could see the discharge of much unsecured debt such as medical invoices.