Friday, February 15, 2013

Medical Woes

Whether you agree with Obamacare or not, something needs to be done about our medical industry. Sallie and I are quickly becoming vets at dealing with insurance companies, hospitals, doctors offices, and physical therapy, but we still have things happen that take us by surprise.

For instance, Sallie had surgery on December 14th. (It appears to have fixed all issues BTW)

We were given the estimate that we would need to pay $500 (all these numbers are fake, but proportional to the real numbers) total for services rendered.

The bill from the hospital arrived in the mail on January 5th, and it was for $250.

We were surprised and cautiously optimistic. I called the hospital and asked them multiple times, "Are you sure this is the only charge? There's nothing pending." They told me that it was the only charge they saw, everything came back from the insurance company, congrats, you owe half of what you thought.

We checked the insurance companies website and they too only showed that charge.

Sallie and I were ecstatic  but still cautious.

A month goes by, we don't see anything else. The money we had budgeted for Sal's surgery went to other bills.

Then BAM! February 1st, we get a bill from the surgeon's office for another $250.
BAM! February 4th, we get a bill from the Ultrasound people for another $50.
BAM! February 10th, we get a bill from the Anesthesiologist's office for another $150.

So, we got a bill for staying in the hospital and having a meal for 8 hours.

We got a separate bill for the actual surgeon, who performed the operation in that hospital.

We then got a bill from the people that did the test to find the scar tissue.

And then, we finally got a bill, almost two months later, for the anesthesia used to knock Sallie out for the operation we had in the hospital we had already paid for.

On top of that, I still have two pending bills for urgent care. They can't tell me if my visit was just the $25 co-pay, or if it's going to be the $250 full pay if insurance doesn't cover it.

These are things I'm fairly sure my British readers don't have to deal with. And don't get me wrong, I know your medical system isn't perfect either, but in America we deal with advertisements for pills during every commercial break, bills from every person that touches your body, and insurance companies that obviously want to make as much money as possible, which sometimes comes at the expense of you the patient.