Deflate Puffed-Up Medical Bills With A Phone Call

The New York Times Bucks blog talks up a medical bill negotiation tactic that saves people who are in the know thousands of dollars. The secret: Pick up the phone and ask the billing department guy how much he’ll take off your bill if you pay in full immediately.

The move can save you 25 percent off your bill or more for two reasons:

* Hospitals and doctors tend to over-inflate your charges to compensate for those who skip out on payment. So since you’re being charged too much in the first place, medical health care providers have some wiggle room.

* Since medical bills are a top cause of bankruptcy, billing departments fear they won’t be paid so are willing to take smaller payments upfront.

The blog got the tip from some book. Didn’t catch the title, but it’s probably a fantastic read filled with other great financial tips as awesome as that one.

One Way to Lower a Doctor’s Bill [New York Times Bucks blog]