Last month my son had a health issue, and our best option was to go to the emergency room at the children’s hospital. Thanks to God everything ended up being okay. Then I got the bill. Obviously I’d do anything for my son and pay whatever it takes to make sure he is healthy. It doesn’t mean that I enjoy paying a big hospital bill though. Our insurance paid a large chunk, but we were still left owing $400 to the hospital.
Once I started paying my own bills it didn’t take me long to realize there is usually some wiggle room. Hospitals and doctors don’t like jumping through hoops to get your payment. They don’t like reminding you to pay your bills or waiting for your money. So when you make the process quick and easy for them they might cut you a break.
When I called to pay the bill I simply (and nicely!) asked one question, “Is there any way you could help me lower this payment?”. I was offered two solutions. One, I could split it into a few smaller payments. Two, if I could pay it in full I could receive a 20% adjustment on my bill. Since I was planning on paying it in full anyway I gladly took the 20% adjustment. I saved $80 with one simple question and a few minutes of my time. The hospital was happy to have their money, and I was happy to pay less than I expected. Sometimes all you have to do is ask.