How To!

How To Fight Outrageous Medical Bills

Step one: Never pay the first bill.

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Episode Notes

Rich thought nothing of going to the hospital for a routine colonoscopy—until he got the bill. Even with insurance, Rich is on the hook for nearly $2,000, way more than he ever expected. It’s particularly painful because Rich was planning to finally pay off his credit card debt before getting married. So what can he do? Our expert this week has a suggestion—don’t pay the bill, at least, not at first. On this episode of How To!, we bring on investigative reporter Marshall Allen, author of Never Pay the First Bill: And Other Ways to Fight the Health Care System and Win, to walk Rich through his options. While most of us pay our hospital bills without thinking twice, Marshall says there are several surprisingly easy steps we can all take to make sure we’re not being overcharged. High healthcare costs may be inevitable, but we can still fight back.

If you liked this episode, check out How To Give Your Mom a Kidney.

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Send us a note at or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Subscribe for free on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Podcast production by Derek John, Rachael Allen, Margaret Kelly and Rosemary Belson.


About the Show

What if Dear Abby were an investigative reporter? Each week, Amanda Ripley (bestselling author of High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out) takes on listeners’ toughest problems and, with the help of experts, finds the answers to questions you’ve always wanted to ask but couldn’t. Until now.

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Have you found the advice on our podcast helpful? Send us a note at or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might play it on the air.

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