Readers Digest has a special report in the current issue on "Why a Hospital Bill Costs What it Costs." Kimberly Hiss points out many ways to save money on your health care bills, most of which follow a theme: Ask Questions -- ask up front, ask about alternatives.
Can I have this done at a surgery center vs. a hospital?
Also, keep track of time actually in surgery. OR's can cost $200/minute, so if your spouse knows you were there for one hour, and the bill comes in for two, you should dispute that bill and save thousands.
Help can be available from many sources:
- in your state http://www.healthcare.gov/using-insurance/managing/consumer-help/index.html
- billadvocates.com helps patients deal with overcharges
- http://patientadvocate.org/ supports people with chronic, life-threatening, or debilitating illness
- advocacyforpatients.org chronic conditions