A foreign exchange student from Norway recently received an American hospital bill high enough to merit international headlines. The student was bit by a rattlesnake in April, an injury that required him to seek treatment from a San Diego medical center, which charged him about $143,000, according to a local TV news report. The antivenin crotalidae fab, two doses at about $64,000, was responsible for the bulk of the treatment costs. According to medical experts employed by the Mayo Clinic, crotalidae fab is an antivenin made from sheep’s blood and used to treat pit viper bites. Reportedly, the $143,000 hospital bill is the most expensive ever received by the exchange student’s insurance company. According to research compiled by a reporter from the publication Business Insider, an average American family of four pays an estimated $8,000 per year in health care expenses.
An experienced attorney can negotiate with medical providers to reduce exorbitant hospital bills, and consumers can take additional steps to avoid overpaying for medical costs.
Financial experts recommend, for example, that consumers double check any bill that seems unusually high for errors before paying, as it can be easier to get a corrected bill from a medical provider than to receive reimbursement for overpayment.
Asking for an itemized bill detailing each individual expense is also recommended, as is staying in constant communication with your medical provider to avoid having the bill turned over to a collection agency.