By Cheryl Welch

Learn more about Cheryl on NerdWallet’s Ask an Advisor

Being sick is stressful and painful, and high health-care bills only make a bad situation more difficult. It’s even worse when you’re being charged excessively or erroneously. By some estimates, up to 80% of medical bills contain overcharges.

A medical bill advocate can significantly reduce costs for individuals, employers and employees. They do this by reviewing medical bills for abusive, fraudulent and erroneous billing practices.

Medical bill advocates offer great advantages to employers:

When you use a medical bill advocate, the amount of the reduced bill plus the commission will be less than the original bill. If an advocate is unable to reduce the patient’s costs, the advocate won’t charge.

It’s not only employers that benefit from medical bill advocacy. Besides saving on medical costs, employees receive:

Services vary by company, but you should look for these benefits:

Let’s look at a real-life example. An employee cut his finger while making dinner and went to a network hospital. He received five stitches from a plastic surgeon. Insurance covered everything except for the out-of-network surgeon. His bill was for $8,500.

Our firm convinced the surgeon to accept the amount paid by the patient’s insurance company as payment in full. That amounted to a 94% discount and a savings of $8,000.

Medical bill advocates provide employers and employees with a simple solution. They connect patients with a team of highly trained experts to take the frustration out of dealing with the medical system. Their knowledge and negotiation skills reduce the stress of sudden illness. This allows patients to focus on what matters most: feeling better.

Cheryl Welch is the president of Hudson Valley Medical Bill Advocates.

The article How Medical Bill Advocates Can Slash Your Costs originally appeared on NerdWallet.