The next time you get a medical bill, don't pay it — at least not right away. It pays to check for errors first.
Accounts of medical billing errors vary widely. While the American Medical Association estimated that 7.1 percent of paid claims in 2013 contained an error, a 2014 NerdWallet study found mistakes in 49 percent of Medicare claims. Groups that review bills on patients' behalf, including Medical Billing Advocates of America and CoPatient, put the error rate closer to 75 or 80 percent.
"Don't pay it until you understand it," said Sara Taylor, health solutions and strategies manager for benefits administrator Aon Hewitt.