Have you ever received a medical bill that just didn't sound quite right?
It turns out one in every five health claims are rejected based on simple errors.
Good Question: How do you know if your are holding a faulty bill?
It happens all too often.
You get a bill in the mail from and unknown company for a medical procedure you thought was fully covered by your insurance.
Well, its possible you are covered and the bill is simply a very expensive error.
According to the American Medical Association, 20 percent of properly submitted claims are mishandled or rejected, leaving the consumer holding the bill.
"Some of the most obvious reasons claims get rejected are eligibility or not filling out the forms completely or a wrong code," said Amy Ford Keohane, CEO of Off Your Desk.net
Off Your Desk is one of several companies trying to help consumers correct these bills.
For a monthly fee they will review all of your medical statements and help with an issue that doesn't seem right.
But you call also try to help yourself.
First, always ask your doctor for an itemized bill, that way you can compare it to the statement from the insurance carrier and catch any obvious errors.
You can also avoid unnecessary medical charges with a little research.
Before any procedure, call your insurance company and find out what is covered.
Most importantly make sure your physician is in your network.
"Even if you are going to an in-network doctor, its often that the anesthesiologist assigned to you is out of network. So if you're having a baby and you're checking into the hospital you should request an in network anesthesiologist," said Keohane.
Finally if the bill seems suspicious, call the company and question the charge.
Do so avoiding the busiest hours of eight to ten in the morning, it may be the most profitable call for your health.
Experts say the average working family spends over $20,000 a year on premiums.