Paying medical bills when you only have medicare. Are there options?

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My father has recently been in the hospital and rehab and has alot of bills. He only has medicare. Is there any negotiating the bills down or once they have gone thru medicare is that the final bill? Hope this question makes sense.

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Your question makes sense, but I'm wondering if he only has Medicare A, which has no premium for most people, or if he carries Medicare B plus even a supplemental policy. If he has a supplemental policy, you could check with the carrier to make sure that they are covering everything they should.

You can make an appeal to Medicare, but I can't guarantee that this will help. That's generally meant for services they don't cover but that you think they should. Try the site at www.medicare.gov. You'll also find a phone number there is you want to talk with someone.
Good luck,
Carol
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I'd like to add to Carol's spot-on answer. What seems to be the key in having bills reduced is IF the provider participates in Medicare & Medicaid. If they do, then the co-pay or whatever wasn't covered can be negotiated. But if the provider was considered "out of network" which means it's fully private pay, then there is less room to negotiate. Whatever you do, DO NOT pay for any of his bills or agree to be financially responsible for the bills. If the debt goes to collection - which some providers do after 90 days - you may be contacted to do so.

If dad has no assets, the debtor is just out of luck. If dad has assets, then it's more complex. You know the # 1 reason for bankruptcy is medical debt. One accident or hospitalization with limited insurance coverage and it can be hundereds of thousands of $$ and all without your or dad being able to choose their care plan. Your situtation is not unique. If you think dad will need additional serivces and that the current bill is just the tip of the iceberg for the near future, just start a file on this and prepare for doing a bankruptcy in the future. Good luck.
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we went through a lot trying to get a diagnosis for my husband without insurance. he was on unemployment but it was too much to qualify for medicaid...so we contacted the local hospital and applied for charity care. he was approved and they pay for his doctor's visits, tests and any treatments for a certain period of time. You may want to try that, or your local office of aging for other resources.
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He really should have a Medicare supplement because otherwise, he will be buried in bills. Try applying for Medicaid. In one state, people can qualify who otherwise cannot due to the amount of medical bills.
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A medicare supplement plan is the a great option. It fills in those gaps from what Medicare does not pay. The only issue would be if your dad can afford the premiums. Check with your County Office on Aging and see who they would recommend.
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I have a medicare supplement from Blue Cross and it is great. I think everyone who has medicare ought to look into this. Medicare only pays 80% and a supplement will pay (most of the time) the other 20%.
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