Monday, August 3, 2009

Red Tape in Healthcare

Slightly over a year ago, i had pneumonia. I was in the hospital for 10 days, admitted with 105 fever and slightly delirious.

The hospital bill was huge. I paid a quite substantial deductible, and thought it was over, and me poorer.

Now here is the rub. The doctor who treated me, never submitted his bill to the insurance company. They would have paid the entire thing, minus a deductible of somewhere between 100-500 dollars. But because he is late- a year late, the insurance company will not pay for it- and I had to appeal to the hospital.


Went to the bank, got my financial statements, my last two years income tax statements.

The good news is, the hospital will work with me over the next two years to pay off the bill. The bad news is, it's a lot of money.

Driving home I heard a man on the radio stating Americans would be better to have the health care system of the UK or Canada, but I don't know.

But I am definitely catching up on what President Obama is doing about health care.

Maybe this little guy can be my doctor?

12 comments:

sln@sandynaiman.com said...

Susan,

You would definitely be better having healthcare like ours. I get superb health care here. It doesn't cost me a penny. My taxes are higher, but it's worth it.

I'd be dead without our healthcare program. It may not be perfect, but no system is.

Don't believe the advertising the Republicans are mounting.

If you want to know about Canadian health care, speak to lots of Canadians of all income brackets.

All kinds of Canadians in all 10 provinces because it varies from province to province.

My kidney transplant cost me nothing.
Two years of dialysis cost me nothing.
15 years of follow up with the best doctors in the country has cost me nothing.
My psychiatrist, also one of the best in the country, costs me nothing.
My family doctor, another one of the best, nothing.
My treatment is efficient, minimum or no waiting and I am well cared for.
All my drugs are covered by benefits for which I pay a minimum amount.
Speak to people. Don't believe the propaganda.
And vote for Obama's healthcare reform. It's better than what you have now!

Good luck with your hospital bill.
Hugs,
sln

NOS said...

It's completely unfair that you have to deal with this when it was your doctor's responsibility to submit the claim to the insurance company in a timely fashion! I can only imagine how frustrated you are.

I'm glad the hospital is being (or at least it seems it's being) cooperative.

Wishing you the best!
NOS

Annapurna Moffatt said...

Yes, we Canadians DO have it better--otherwise my parents would've had to pay a monster bill during my first year of life.

Our system isn't the greatest in the world (I think that title goes to Holland) and we do complain about it, but we know that we have it much better than the US.

If you ever decide to come to Canada, tell me--I'd be happy to show you around New Brunswick!

Ari said...

That's total bs. I'm really afraid of something happening like that to me because I work for the state, which means the budget crisis affects my insurance. My boss had a bill sent to her because the state hadn;t paid their part of the insurance yet. Yikes! Healthcare in this country sucks. I don't know much about Canada's healthcare system, but i heard nothing but good until those stupid comercials.

btw, i would totally hire that kitty as my doctor.

Queen Aeron said...

I seriously think you should consider getting legal advice on this issue. That the doctor took that long to bill you is one issue. The insurance will always look for reasons to deny your claims, but they should not be allowed to deny you because of your doctor's billing issue. Check with your state's insurance board (or something like that) for more information. If it were me, I'd tell the doctor he's going to eat his bill. He's too busy to bill on time, I'm too busy to pay his bill. I'd contact a lawyer (talk to Legal Aid if necesaary) and find out your options. I would not just take the doctor, hospital or insurance's word on this. Appeal, scream, bitch or moan, but I'd be looking into my rights on this matter.

I was almost admitted overnight to the psych unit. I went to the inpatient unit, but because I wouldn't sign the paperwork to admit myself, when the attending psychiatrist decided not to keep me, they just sent me home. A few weeks later I got the bill. I had no insurance, no job and had just wrecked my car (which was why I was so depressed). I had lost my job with an insurance pre-cert office so I was used to insurance/hospital/medical jargon. My bill said "In-pt" and $700. I hit the roof. Call the hospital, demanded to speak to someone in billing, went over what happened and they changed the bill.

Seriously, you need to speak with someone either in state goverment or a lawyer and find out what your rights are before you send them another dime.

Stephany said...

You don't have to accept their amount due each month, you call and keep contact and they won't sue you, and you can say $20 bucks, etc as to what will be paid. Been there done that and the rest swept up into bankruptcy.

I was charged 8,000$ for one day in the ER for my pneumonia when you had it when I did.

Don't let them bully you!

Stephany said...

* $ 20 bucks a month etc

Red Pill Junkie said...

You have to pay because of that pendejo of a Doctor's mistake??! It's infuriating.

PS: Please don't look at what "pendejo" means. Suffice to say it's rather impolite.

Watching that controversy as an outsider, it's almost hilarious the way people reject Universal Health care. "Oh, it's going to bankrupt the country!". No... what it's going to bankrupt America is keep spending ludicrous amount of money in weapons and Military R&D, only to end up with a lame YF-22 raptor plane whose sole existence was justified by appearing in the Transformers movies.

You ditch those projects and you can afford heart and kidney transplants for every man, woman and children in the US. Hell, you could afford installing golden teeth on every one of you, should you choose to become a Hip Hop celebrity —I don't know if the big-ass clock would get to be covered, though

lili said...

WHOA I am so angry right now over this healthcare war don't even get me started but can you get an advocate to help you tell the hospital since it was the docs error the doc should be responsible for it?You paid what you were supposed to. You shouldn't have to pay more.

Anne said...

In 1985, I acquired a hospital bill of over $150,000 due to a complicated pregnancy. Insurance paid their end, and the final bill came to me.

We had darn good insurance, but since the pregnancy was in jeopardy, I required 60 inpatient days, of which they would only pay for half.

So I set up a payment plan with the hospital. Having worked in many hospitals, I knew how these worked.

Since I wasn't able to work, and my husband was laid off right after the baby was born, we had little income. SO,I set up a plan to pay $5.00 a month and at the end of every 12 months, they wrote off half the balance. In 3 years, I paid $180 and the balance was written off by the hospital.

It is a game that financial officers play. They KNOW you can't afford such a bill. If you can prove you can pay a minimal amount each month so you don't strap yourself financially, you can satisfy the hospital that you are making SOME kind of payment, and they can do their part by writing off half balance yearly.

Look into it. Good Luck,
Anne

Jackles111 said...

That's incredibly frustrating, I'm surprised you managed to type the entire post without breaking your keyboard.

This isn't a political blog, so I won't comment on socialized health care.

But I will comment on kitty care...

All I know is, if I walk into a doctor's office with a sprain or a cold, and that kitten walked in, I'd definitely walk out of the doctor's office feeling better.

Wendy said...

Seems to me that this bill is the Doctor's problem - he filed it too late. I would be calling his office to have the bill canceled due to his negligence!!

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