annual income, number of dependents, and total annual medical costs. We will jump into this in the next chapter.

There are other parts of the bill you should note:

If your bill is less than 60 days outstanding, you are in good shape. If it is 60-90 days outstanding, you may be firting trouble. At 90- 120 days, your account is eligible for collections. At over 120 days, I would say a call from a collection agency is inevitable.

It is good to note that the provider is receiving and posting your payments to your account. Billing offces that are understaffed may be a week or more behind in posting payments ― not to mention the two or three days for U.S. Postal Service. If your monthly statement does not include a recent payment you made, call the provider and tell them when you mailed it and the check number and amount. They will put a note on your account and they will appreciate the call.

Most providers will send you a new statement every 30 days, or immediately after there is new activity. If you are seeing the same provider over and over, make new entries in your table to keep track of different dates of service. It can become very confusing to keep track of all the copays when you see the same specialist every two weeks for several months. You can accumulate numerous bills.

As I mentioned before, the Explanation of Benefts (EOB) is a notice from the insurance company that tells you if the insurance company paid and what is due from the patient to the provider, if anything. Every insurance company uses EOBs. They send them to the patient and to the provider. Be sure to reference the EOB when you talk to a biller.

38 // The Medical Bill Survival Guide