Living With Less: Save Money by Paying Attention to the Details

With my cancer journey, we’ve obviously had quite a few medical bills landing in our mailbox.  Three times in the past three months, I have discovered mistakes on our EOB–Explanation of Benefits that are sent to us on each claim.

In each case I had received a bill from the medical provider that indicated we owed more than we really did.  Had I not paid attention to the details and just blindly paid the bills, we would have paid more than we really owed.

Sometimes saving money isn’t about clipping coupons or finding great sales.  Sometimes it’s about being a savvy consumer and paying attention to the details.

Here are some steps I’ve found to be helpful:

1) Look your bills over in detail.  One time I found that our satellite television company was charging us for HD television when we didn’t even have a high definition television!

2) When you talk with Customer Service, write down the date, the name of the person you are talking to, and the basic information they gave you.  This helped me greatly yesterday when I found out that a customer service representative at my insurance company had given me wrong information about what hospital was in-network. Thankfully the wrong information had been notated and the company found the note on the date I said I had called.

3) Be kind to whoever you speak to when resolving issues. You’re more likely to get their help when you’ve treated them with respect.

What about you? When have you saved money by paying attention to details?  Is there another strategy you would add to this list? 


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4 thoughts on “Living With Less: Save Money by Paying Attention to the Details

  1. My husband and I had a similar issue recently regarding an EOB from our health insurance company. The company offered to re-process the claim using one of the other diagnosis codes shown on the claim form, and the portion that was initially unpaid ($169) has been paid in full!

  2. I remember a time where I had a discrepancy in my checkbook register and checking account. I went into the bank to talk to someone about it and as I was showing her my records, she said to me “If more people kept a register like this, they would save lots of money!” Apparently, overage charges are popular.

  3. 2 months after my daughter was born, she presented with CF like symptoms that were later (one year later) determined to be a variant of cystic fibrosis. Although we were quite well off at the time, 4 years later we continue to dig out of the hole created by medical bills beyond our control. I have two pieces of advice for anyone on this medical journey…almost all prescriptions that are not charged at the lowest rate through insurance have a “discount card.” Type the name of the medication and discount card in your browser and you’ll almost always find a card REGARDLESS OF YOUR INCOME that will make your copay equal to the generic or close to it. Also, one time I missed a payment inadvertently and when I called to pay in full I was told that when you pay in full, you get a 10-20% discount! I assure you that is nowhere on your statement as an option. I am constantly sharing this information as loud and as often as I can. I am a fairly conversative voter but when a family I the top 5% of all earners in America can go into debt as a result of a life threatening illness, there is clearly a problem with our health system. Be well…and be strong. I am learning so much as a result of these struggles and I just know they are happening for a reason.