Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Now who is sending me a bill?

I am one of the lucky Americans with health insurance through my job. And it is a damn good thing because right now, for two ambulance rides, three ER visits, major surgery and a two week hospital stay I’m looking at about $300,000 in billing.


I think I have most of the bills in but I had so many imaging procedures done I can’t remember if that is all accounted for. Also, and this is a new one to me, a doctor who oversees the discharge process is charging me $350 for his behind the scenes name stamp.


I have a high deductible health care plan so the first $5,000 in bills is all out of pocket for me.  Then I pay 10% of cost.  The catch is that only works with “in network” providers. For example, my bill from the first hospital stay is $101,702.  However, this an in network facility so insurance paid $40,597, I owe $2,217 and the hospital writes off the rest. The second hospital stay was out of network so they billed $28,010.  Insurance paid $13,507 and the rest, $14,502 is all on me. 


No insurance? Well, that typically correlates to no discretionary funding. So poor people get an enormous bill, no insurance to help pay down the balance and no discounted contract rate negotiated by insurance. Now what could possibility go wrong with that plan?



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