What to do if your medical costs are higher than you expect?
OSHCglobal - If your bill is significantly higher than you expected, we suggests that you do the following:
- Check that you didn’t agree to these charges before treatment. If you were told about the charges in advance and did not question them at the time, you may have implicitly agreed to pay the fee.
- Contact your doctor or doctor’s office staff to discuss the reasons for the various charges and why they are more than you expected.
If you still consider that the charge is unfair or significantly more than you were advised, the Ombudsman suggests that you pay at least part of the bill. For instance, pay the amount that you were expecting to pay or find out what the MBS fee is for the procedure(s) and pay that amount.
When you make that payment, provide a letter to your doctor. This letter could include the following points:
- State the amount you are paying and explain why you are paying that amount, for now.
- Indicate what amount you were expecting to pay and why you expected to pay that amount.
- Ask if any procedures have been performed other that the ones you were expecting or if a case can be made for the unexpected charge.
- Indicate any personal circumstances that affect your ability to pay the higher fee.
- Suggest what further amount you would be prepared to pay (if any) and what payment arrangements you would like to make.
- Ask for a written response to your letter. If you are unable to negotiate a suitable outcome with your doctor you may contact the health complaints agency in your State or Territory. If the matter involves private health insurance, the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman may be able to assist.
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