any bills you get from your doctor. I know this...but don't always follow my own advice.
My husband and I have a private medical insurance policy, for which we pay dearly. For the last 8 years (prior to 2007) we've been seeing our family physician only for an annual checkup, and some "follow up testing"...like, I'd have a mammogram; he'd have a prostate exam. ALL of this was covered (paid for) by our health insurance. Then prior to 2007, we both got on Medicare, Parts A & B, and kept the private policy too.
My husband got sick. We had to go to our regular doctor several times, and she referred him to a heart specialist, and he had to have stress tests and other heart-related testing done. And the bills started coming in. I'd get these statements from Medicare that would say "we paid this much; your health insurance should pay part". And then from the insurance company, "we paid this much; Medicare should pay some". And there'd be a "remainder/patient owed" column. So I paid that myself. Several times. Quite a bit of $$. I wondered..but didn't check..just assumed that because the visits to the heart guy weren't a "usual" event, that in fact our insurance policy didn't cover that, and now that we were on Medicare A&B things changed.
Well, in early January I went for my annual physical. And got the usual statements from Medicare and the insurance company about what they'd paid/not paid. Then over the weekend got a BILL from the doctor, for "remainder due!" What?? This was just a usual annual physical?! Why wasn't THAT covered??
So I called the insurance company and asked.
Turns out it should have been. Turns out all the $$ I'd paid on my husband's behalf to the heart specialist should have been covered. That the billing clerk in the doctor's office "keyed in the wrong code", and had been billing us! (And presumably, a host of other patients who hadn't complained, either!!)
So I saved $78 -- the amount I'd been billed for my annual physical. The insurance company suggested I "go after them" for the other amounts. I probably won't..but lesson learned. Well, more accurately, lesson re-learned. Next time I get a bill, I'll ask before sending off a check!
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....