Save Thousands on Your Medical Bills

Don't let a big IOU ruin you financially. You have more ways to cut the price than you think.

Kellie Brown had rarely suffered from an ailment worse than a runny nose when she let her health insurance lapse last August. Brown, 23, had always been covered by her father's plan. But when he retired in July 2007, she lost her coverage, and "it just seemed like an expense that I didn't really need."

Big mistake. Less than two months later, Brown ended up making two financially devastating trips to the hospital: one to have her appendix removed and another, a few days later, to be treated at a different hospital for an infection resulting from the surgery. Altogether, her tab came to $40,000.

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Elizabeth Leary
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Elizabeth Leary (née Ody) first joined Kiplinger in 2006 as a reporter, and has held various positions on staff and as a contributor in the years since. Her writing has also appeared in Barron's, BloombergBusinessweek, The Washington Post and other outlets.