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A Trip to the Doctor Could Cost More Despite Insurance

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RALEIGH — You may be paying more out of your own pocket the next time you see a doctor, even if you have insurance.

Two North Carolina medical groups say more doctors are requiring patients to pay now and deal with their insurance companies later.

Doctors say they are tired of dealing with the time and cost of submitting paperwork to insurance companies. They are leaving it up to you. Many patients are not happy about the process.

Many doctors and dentists are demanding payment before your insurance company even gets the bill.

The reason, according to Dr. Patrick Marsh, is because dealing with insurance companies takes too much time.

"Usually, you go through this voicemail or recording with different modes and menus," said Marsh.

And, it costs too much money.

"The more insurance we file, the more returns we get from insurance companies asking for more information which we feel is a delay tactic for payment," said Marsh.

TheNorth Carolina Medical Societysays many physicians feel the same way.

"A lot of doctors in small group practices have to invest so many resources in claims and reimbursements and handling, they've probably come to the decision it's easier to allow the patients to file the claim and give them the information to file the claim," said Robert Seligson of the North Carolina Medical Society.

Many doctors and dentists try to ease the payment process by accepting various forms of payment, but sometimes it is not good enough.

"If you had to incur $500 or $1000, that could really set some people back," said patient Rhonda Hinnant.

You could be set back even more if you find out your insurance company will not reimburse you for the bill.

If you go to a doctor who expects payment right away, it is up to you to make sure your insurance plan will accept the claim.

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Ericka Lewis, Reporter
Ron Pittman, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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