balance bill

verb, transitive + intransitive

: to bill a patient for the balance of the costs of medical services not covered by the patient's insurance provider
A provider who has agreed to accept assignment as payment in full cannot balance bill the patient.Debora A. Slee, Slee's Health Care Terms, 2007
The Canadian evidence suggests that the easier it is for physicians to balance bill, the more difficult it is to control fees.John Holahan, Medicare Physician Payment Reform, 1986
balance bill noun
When confronted with a balance bill, do not hesitate to call the doctor and discuss payment. Walecia Konrad, New York Times, 1 May 2010
balance billing noun
Many have been critical of a January California Supreme Court decision that banned balance billing Paul Raeburn, Star-News (Wilmington, North Carolina), 30 Aug. 2009

Word History

First Known Use

1977, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of balance bill was in 1977

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near balance bill

Cite this Entry

“Balance bill.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!