Patient Education

Here we answer some of the most common medical bill / debt questions from patients.  

If you want clarification on any of these questions, send us an email at info@calmba.org.

How do I Get Help with Paying Medical Bills If I Am Uninsured in California?

  

  1. Check the Bill for Information on Financial Assistance.

  2. Apply for Medicaid

  3. Ask for Self-Pay Discount

  4. Ask for Financial Assistance Policy

  5. Dispute Accuracy of the Bill

  6. Plead Your Personal Case for Relief

  7. Look for Help from Local Charities

  8. Ask for Payment Plan 

How do I Get Help with Medical Bill After Insurance in California, if I Have Not Met my Deductible?

  1. Check the Bill for Information on Financial Assistance.

  2. Ask for Financial Assistance Policy

  3. Qualify on Gross Income

  4. Qualify on High Medical Expense

  5. Dispute Accuracy of the Bill

  6. Plead Your Personal Case for Relief

  7. Look for Help from Local Charities

  8. Ask for Payment Plan

How Can CALMBA Help Negotiate My Medical Bills?

  1. ​Review Case Submission Information.

  2. Help You Apply for Financial Assistance.

  3. Review Billed Charges for Errors.

  4. Evaluate Balance Billing.

  5. Plead for Relief Based on Your Financial Situation.

Medical Billing and Coding

 

What is an Itemized Bill?

The first bills you got from the hospital and doctors are usually the BILL SUMMARY, which gives a general summary of charges.  For the detailed charges, you need to request the ITEMIZED BILL.  It will have columns titled as Service Code, CPT Code, HCPCS Code, Revenue Code, and / or Diagnosis.  See here for examples.

What is an Explanation of Benefits (EOB)?

The EOB is sent by your insurance company, so you will only have one if you are insured.  After your visit, the hospital and doctor(s) will send claim(s) to your insurance company to try to get paid.  The insurance company will evaluate the claim and determine what to pay for and how much. It will then send an explanation of benefits to you, and pay the claim to the hospital and doctors.  The EOB will usually state that "THIS IS NOT A BILL", because it is basically an explanation of their decision to pay or not pay for certain services.

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California Medical Billing Advocates

1390 Market Street STE 200

San Francisco, CA 94102

415-632-3316

info@calmba.org

©2019 by California Medical Billing Advocates, Inc.

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