Ten years ago, my father was admitted to a local hospital with a kidney stone. The stone was large and he needed additional surgery to crush the stone. I reminded him to not pay any hospital bills before I had a chance to review them and I was glad he waited to pay his bills. He got a series of large bills from the hospital and with a little bit of research and a few lengthy phone calls the bills were either drastically reduced or eliminated.

The same process was repeated when my mother broke her hip last year. She saved $3500, when I again took the time to review her bills with the insurance company and the hospital-billing department.

So, put that checkbook away until you are really convinced you owe the money. Take the time to call the insurance company or hospital before you pay. A health advocate can be a great resource to review the bill and do the leg work for you. I have saved my clients significant amounts of money by taking the time to do some research and asking for another review of the bill.