Health care costs: 4 ways to save yourself from medical sticker shock

Avoid medical bill sticker shock! In some cases you can be out hundreds if not thousands of dollars if you don't know what your plan covers, so, ask the right questions.

First, if you have non-emergency surgery like a joint replacement or delivering a baby and the doctor you chose is in network but the anesthesiologists is not, you will get a bill from that particular service.

Request that all doctors need to be in network before you receive medical care.

Next, while you can't plan when you'll need to visit the emergency room, know that most doctors are out of network potentially leaving you with a big bill. Check your insurer now and check hospitals in your area.

Another problem you might run into is when your insurer doesn't pay at all, in spite of choosing services in network, leaving you to foot the bill. This may mean you have a high deductible, so think about whether a high-deductible plan works for your budget.

Finally, going out of network can cost you big. Before you make an appointment with an out of network provider, get the exact amount of your out of pocket expenses.
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