Items to consider to avoid surprise medical bills:
- Gather a list of the names of your physicians to discuss with your health insurance provider to check whether they are in-network or a participating provider. You can also do this online through your health insurance provider’s website.
- TIP: If you are receiving anesthesia, also check that the anesthetist or anesthesiologist is in-network or a participating provider. Oftentimes, this is not discussed until after services have been rendered.
- If your physician is an out-of-network or non-participating provider, discuss with your health insurance provider how to make an out-of-network claim.
- Check if you need prior authorization from your health insurance provider for any part of your treatment and/or procedure. You can do this by talking with your insurance provider.
- Obtain a price estimate from the hospital where services will be rendered. You can also coordinate with your health insurance provider to discuss any out-of-pocket expenses.
- Consider applying for financial assistance through the hospital or physician providing your care. You can apply and may qualify even if you have health insurance. Start this process by contacting the provider’s billing department.
- If you don’t have health insurance, ask the provider’s billing department whether you might qualify for a “self-pay discount.”
- Research local and federal assistance programs that may be able to help cover medical costs.
If you are looking for financial assistance for future or existing medical bills and associated costs, there are resources and options available. Check whether you qualify for one or more of the following options:
- Low Income Subsidy (LIS), also referred to as Extra Help – available under the Medicare Part D prescription drug program
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Review the Health Insurance Marketplace to check for coverage options
- Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
State, county, and other local programs offering financial assistance for medical expenses may be available in your geographic area. Searching online and connecting with your local government can provide more information and how to apply for such programs.
Trim is working to create a list of these programs and offerings so our users can see this information in one place. Keep a look out for this future feature!
If you have other questions about planning for health care expenses, dealing with medical bills, or understanding how health insurance works, you’re invited to schedule a free, confidential 20-minute call with Kelsey Shaner, a Trim team member who is also a Board Certified Patient Advocate. Appointments are subject to availability, first-come, first-served.
Any information provided by OneMain Trim, LLC d/b/a Trim, whether posted on the Trim website or conveyed by a Trim team member, including but not limited to any Board Certified Patient Advocate, is for informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness, or fitness for any particular purpose. The information is not intended to be and does not constitute medical, financial, legal, tax, or any other advice specific to a user or anyone else. Always seek the advice of a qualified medical or mental health provider or other qualified expert with any questions you may have regarding your personal circumstances. Trim does not recommend or endorse any specific products, procedures, opinions, or other information mentioned on the website or by a team member. Reliance on any information Trim provides is solely at your own risk. Any companies and individuals (other than OneMain Financial’s sponsored partners) we refer to are not sponsors of, do not endorse, and are not otherwise affiliated with OneMain Financial or Trim.