Getting Back an Overpayment to a Provider

Back in November I wrote a little about the difficulties we’ve ran into with our private insurance covering my son’s services. If you have private insurance and didn’t get a chance to check it out before, make sure you take a look at Our Health Insurance is Trying to Steal from Us now. Luckily, after many years of jumping through hoops and plenty of calls to customer service later, we got everything resolved this time around without having to involve my states department of insurance. But now that step one is done, it is time for the great fun in step two (please sense the sarcasm), getting back the money you overpaid to your provider.

I would love to say that this part is easy, and I’ll be honest it is somewhat easier than dealing with the insurance company themselves, but at a minimum, you are likely still going to have to make a couple of calls. For me there were about 4 calls throughout the year asking if they were planning on refunding me the money, or going to apply it to future visits. With kind of wishy-washy answers, I decided to keep an eye on things and do some accounting once everything was fully settled for the 2021 fiscal year.

Thankfully the provider that we used for our therapies offered an online payment portal which you could look back at past statements. Comparing these to the online portal for my insurance, I was able to calculate what dates of service I had overpaid on. Not the ideal way to spend my day but just another thing that had to be done. Now the upside to visiting a smaller practice is you could have an easier conversation with someone that knows you about getting reimbursed, but then again for a smaller practice you will likely need to keep all paper copies and receipts of your visits for tracking. When you have the option for online, I would advise you take advantage of it specifically for reasons like this.

Some may ask why I went ahead and overpaid if I knew my insurance was liable for the cost to begin with. Why not save myself the step and just let the bill sit out there unpaid until insurance took care of it? Well, my answer to that would be, I don’t want to cause any credit issues for myself. Is it guaranteed they would report that unpaid amount to the credit bureau? No. But they very well might. And fighting a credit dispute is not something that I want to have to worry about in the future either. I can’t imagine it is any more fun than what I have to do here already. Also, insurance comes through my husband who is in the financial industry, so he is kind of a stickler for keeping his credit good.

Having a child on the spectrum likely means that they will be attending many therapy sessions over the years. And with many sessions, come many bills due. It would be so nice if we lived in a place were getting you your money back, for things like overpayments, came as fast as they expect the original payments to be. But just like anyone trying to get a refund from almost anywhere, you know it is always easier to send that payment than it is to get it back. Finding a practice that doesn’t require insurance sometimes seems like the best way to go, or at least the easier when it comes to time involved, but then again, if you are already paying an arm and a leg for insurance, you should be able to use it. No real winning scenario, but hopefully jumping through these hoops will put a bit of money back into your family’s pocket. No one ever told me that mom life would require so much accounting…