If you were treated for COVID-19 weeks ago and you still haven’t received a bill, you might be wondering if you should even expect one and whether the provider has a time limit to send it. Although the government and many major insurance companies have assured patients that their COVID-19 medical bills will be covered, it is important not to have a false sense of security. Depending on your insurance plan and whether it is self-funded, you may still be responsible for co-pays, deductibles, or other out–of-pocket costs.
COVID-19 raises many new coding, billing, and processing issues for providers and insurance companies. These can result in Covid-19 medical bill overcharges, as well as delays in receiving your bill. Regardless of the coronavirus pandemic, it is important to be aware that there are no laws or regulations that impose time limitations on providers for billing patients. This means that you could even receive a medical bill years after the date of service. Even if you received a COVID-19 medical bill much later than you expected, there are still some measures you can take to reduce the bill.
What Should I Do if I Haven’t Received a COVID-19 Bill Yet?
If a significant amount of time goes by and you still haven’t received a bill from the provider or an Explanation of Benefits from your insurance company, you should be proactive and address the issue with the facility. Keep a record of who you spoke with, the date and time. Also, get a reference number in case a problem later arises.
If you received treatment, there is a paper trail – while you may think that you shouldn’t worry unless you receive a bill, there is a chance it may have fallen through the cracks. Making the wrong assumption could result in your later getting slammed with a COVID-19 medical bill for thousands of dollars, depending on the treatment rendered.
Expect Multiple Bills if You Received Treatment at the Hospital or Emergency Room
It’s also important to be aware that if you received COVID-19 hospital treatment or emergency room care, you should expect multiple bills – each provider or doctor at the facility could bill separately. This can cause a great deal of confusion – especially if you received a bill and had no idea to expect additional ones.
There are times when people do not find out about outstanding medical debt until a credit check is run. To avoid any adverse effects to your credit, you must not put off inquiring about any bills. Make sure the matter is handled before any issues arise.
Confirm the Provider Has Your Correct Insurance Information
For a bill to be paid by your insurance, the provider needs to submit a claim. If you were unconscious or incapacitated when you were admitted to the emergency room, the hospital may not even have your insurance information.
Hospitals do not go out of their way to find out who your insurance carrier is. You should follow up with the facility once you’re back home to ensure that they have the correct information. While there is no limit on the amount of time a facility can send you a bill, there is a time limit imposed for sending a claim to the insurance company. If the hospital doesn’t have your insurance information and the time to submit the claim has passed, your insurance company may not cover the bill.
Contact Your Insurance Company for the Explanation of Benefits
As with any medical bill, it’s important to examine your Explanation of Benefits to see what treatment was covered and to confirm whether you are responsible for any co-pays, deductibles, or out-of-pocket costs. Don’t wait too long to do this – if there are any issues, you will need to submit an appeal before your time to do so runs out.
Get Help from an Advocate for Help With Your COVID-19 Medical Bill Dispute
Disputing surprise medical bills or COVID-19 medical bills overcharges can be a complex process. Systemedic has been in the medical billing business for over 30 years and knows what it takes to dispute even the most complicated medical bills quickly and effectively.
Offering a fee-based service for those looking to dispute their medical bills, our medical and hospital bill dispute advocates are skilled in navigating the insurance maze and will not take “no” for an answer. To get started with resolving your medical bill dispute, contact us for a consultation.