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Old 12-19-2009, 03:37 PM
Location: right here!
1,057 posts, read 1,680,003 times
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If she does not have a supplement, she is responsible for the 20% that Medicare does not cover, after her initial Medicare deductible if she has not already met it for the year.

Also matters if hospital was public, non-profit or private, for-profit. Did she have surgery? Also, remember that doctors' fees are not included in the "hospital" bill, they bill separately.

If she does not have the means to pay it, the hospital will assist her in filing for Medicaid in the state where she lives. Medicaid would then act as the "supplement" to Medicare.

The hospital will want to work out a payment plan if she doesn't qualify for Medicaid. Ask them for an itemized bill, go over it with a fine-toothed comb. Ask for an uninsured discount. Ask for the same rates that they would charge insured patients (it's much less due to managed care contracts).

Hospitals write off so much "bad debt" that they are grateful when a patient attempts to make any sort of payment arrangement. Many people do not even do that much. They cannot take her house if she owns one. They can and likely will sue her if she does not make "good faith" efforts to pay the bill.
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:34 PM
Location: 3814′45″N 12237′53″W
4,152 posts, read 9,580,830 times
Reputation: 3398
Originally Posted by JL View Post
I have a question. My mother was recently in the hospital for several days due to bowel blockage,gallstones. She was released yesterday and everything is fine now. I'm not sure what the bill will be, but i can only imagine it will be stiff. She has medicare. For those who have experienced something similar(being in hospital for a few days), how much of that will she be paying. I know it is too general of a question, but what if she can't afford to pay the bill? What happens next? Payment plans? What if she can't afford the payment plan? How will this work out? Thanks.
Are you able to help her with the papaerwork? There is going to a lot of snail mail coming her way.
An expandable file folder for ONLY the hospital bills is in order, STAT (sorry I couldn't resist)
Make sure that as soon as she gets the first bill from the hospital itself, not a surgeon or other specialist, call the number on that bill to request an ITEMIZED BILL for her entire stay.
This will be many pages and should be very detailed.
Your mother being on Medicare will help to a point, but there should be serious combing of the details to every last bill that comes in since the hospital ( and various docs) are aware of Medicare covering some of the costs and so they are notorious for padding the charges a WHOLE LOT. If you or your mom are NOT on top of this double/triple/fictional billing, which is so prevalent then I can guarantee you that it will be nearly impossible to fight erroneous charges as the days go by if not dealt with at the beginning of all this billing.
(This may take close to a year)
I once fought an anesthesiologist bill with my insurance and the doctor's billing office for 2 years off and on.

DO NOT pay ANY bill until it can be crossed checked with insurance/or Medicare's EOB's (explanation of benefits)....these billing practices take forever, and it is not uncommon in my household to wait wait wait down to the collection agency threat wire in order to make sure all of the billing is correct.
Once I have all the facts straightened out, then I pay. I have fought numerous bills that were partially fabricated, (wether by accident or on purpose)
I have saved our family hundreds of dollars fixing medical inurance and billing department "mistakes".
Hopefully, you're mom (or you ) have some free time, because in order to save a lot of money on this medical crap it definitely becomes a part time job, with a lot of waiting on hold...

Good luck and hope mom is in much better health!
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