Tip of the month – Overcharging by International Hospitals Feb 2022
When choosing a global or regional medical plan abroad, check for “out of network” penalties. First rule of thumb is to always work through your insurance company if an air ambulance or medical emergency arises. Coordination of care should include your insurance company at every step. International hospitals very often contract air emergency flights and there can be some very high fees attached, these are negotiable. If a billing clerk simply asks for proof of coverage, do not accept that this as taken care of. Ask about rates, pricing, and direct payment by your insurance company. Take names and ask questions.
One example happened in 2020, one of my clients in southern Mexico had a serious burn incident and had to be care flown from Oaxaca City to Mexico City and the private hospital refused to notify her global insurance company ahead of time. This resulted in an attempted $72,000 charge. We were able to jump and negotiate a reduced amount citing lack of communication and the bill was paid by the insurance company within days. The outcome could have resulted in a disaster for the patient, my client.
Let’s chat soon. Offshorehealthbenefits.com
Robert Tillotson – consulting
Offshore Health Benefits since 2002