Norway is abuzz over an outrageous bill by an American hospital, which was reportedly the highest his insurance had ever seen.Dag-Are Trydal, a Norwegian foreign exchange student, got bit by a rattlesnake on April 26th and was rushed to the hospital. Adding insult to injury, the hospital slapped him with a bill for $143,000, reports San Diego’s 10news.
According to 10news, about $128,000 can be attributed to two doses of antivenin crotalidae fab, which Mayo Clinic explains is a common treatment for pit viper bites and comes from sheep’s blood.
Trydal’s insurance may be good enough to keep him out of debt, but that’s clearly not the case in the states. The typical American family of four shelled out more than $8,000 for basic health care services in 2011, according to BI reporter Mandi Woodruff.
If you’re among one of those with a larger-than-life medical bill, though, don’t panic. It may simply be a medical billing error, and there are ways to cut it down. Here, Woodruff offers some tips for lowering the costs:
Don’t pay upfront until you are sure it’s correct. It can be difficult to get reimbursed if you overpay a provider, says Woodruff.
Get an itemized bill from your provider. The bill you get from your doctor may be confusing, so reviewing each item you’re being charged for one-by-one should help clarify things.
Don’t let the bill fall into collections. Take the time to verify that everything is correct, but make sure to communicate to your provider that you are working on paying your bill. Chances are, your provider will give you more time to pay it off before sending it to collections.