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Recently there has been some helpful national attention to the issue of balance billing by medical providers. The issue being medical bills patients are receiving after their insurance company has reduced the bill to a fee schedule. The providers should be fighting the issue out with the insurance company. Instead bills are sent to the patent. It is suspected that patients may have wrongfully paid as much as a billion dollars in bills they don’t owe.

The issue was covered in a recent Business Weekly article and also covered in recent television news stories on CBS. The CBS story found that in 2007, 1.7 million people in California had been balanced billed 528 million. Each story had significant human interest examples of people that were chased by collection agencies in States were it simple shouldn’t have happened.

There are federal laws that prevent this billing when Medicare is the Insurance company. In Minnesota there are laws that cover Medical Assistance payments and other laws that prevent abusive or fradualent billing practices. There are exceptions for consmetic surgery and out of network non-referal non emergancy care.

The key is that beyond your co pays , make sure that any additional bills are actually legally due and payable. If you have a question you can contact the Attorney General, The Department of Commerse or Call an attorney that practices in this area.

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