Just Venting…

As much as I am thankful that there are hospitals available to have equipment and places to care for people when we fall ill, I am so discouraged this morning.  Its been two months now since they started doing all the testing to figure out what was wrong with me.  So now the bills have started coming in.

I had purposly put in a cafeteria plan fund $1000.00 to help combat this, and cover my $1000.00 medical deductible. Thinking I was smart, to get that out of the way first, I paid the hospital for services rendered, only to find out that what you pay for MRI’s and Spinal Taps are not “eligiable” to count towards my deductable. So while I at least had gotten that part paid for, it did not take care of any of my deductable, so if I understand correctly what the rep said,  I still will have to come up with that $1000 deductable before the insurance will pay anything further. There is also some other thing she mentioned about a separate $2000.00 maximum-out-of-pocket thing  that I really didn’t understand how it comes into play.  

So then I talk to the Hospital to figure out some kind of payment arrangement for the rest of the accounts that weren’t taken care of, or covered by my insurance. I am told that they hold the accounts a maximum of 120 days before they send you to collections. Not only that, but they cannot (or will not) combine open accounts so that you can make any kind of single monthly payment. 

I have now learned that doing a single test, can spawn multiple seperate accounts for different services renderred during that single test.

So all of these open accounts are already on timers that are winding down, and collectively upwards of $1862.00, which is all due to the hospital in the next few months.

Even the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will work out a payment plan with you…… >.< But I suppose its easier for them because “its not multiple accounts”

It puts me inline with a bad attitude I’m sure. Because then my next thought process is – that the next time they tell me I “need” to get MRI’s done, I may just question it more.

“Why?” I’ll think to myself.

“To take more pictures of these lesions I have in my brain that you really cannot do anything for, other than tell me to take these daily injections and hope for the best?, And if they get worse, then how are the pictures going to help?”

“So that I can be told – Of course your insurance will cover it! – to which I will incur more of these “Facility-fee” type side charges that aren’t mentioned before hand that in fact the insurance won’t cover because of a technicallity?”

Coupled with the fact that I am trying to get a handle on finances, and I figure out that before taxes, my husband and I pay about $700/month total in medical & dental insurance for our family.  Its too bad there wasn’t an option to just have that money taken out and put in an account you can’t touch except for “medical” or “dental” payments. I think my bills would get paid quicker that way then funding insurance agencies and all their “Tiers” and “technical reasons” for paying this, but not that.

I know this is just me whining, and I know people have things much worse, to which if I talked to them, I’d feel embarrased at having complained… I’m just venting…  And I hear its good to not let things get bottled up.. (nice excuse right?)

So frustrated…. /sigh… deep breath…

This too shall pass…    what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger…   In order to see the rainbow, you must first endure some rain….  and <insert here whatever other cliche that people use to make themselves feel better.>

/rant off…

So.. How are you?




2 thoughts on “Just Venting…”

  1. About 12 years ago I ate a $5.5k medical bill because insurance wouldn’t pay due to the hospital admitting me as ‘outpatient for observation’. The hospital did that in order to ‘save the insurance some money’ and wouldn’t change their designation to in-patient unless I hired a lawyer. The insurance found this gem after forcing me to drag up every medical record that I had, including eye surgery from 10 years prior to where the hospital I had to get this record from laughed at the request.

    The insurance also refused to cover the MRI because it wasn’t performed in the designated time frame since my illness. Never mind it wasn’t my choice to have the MRI so late but forced on me by the scheduling of the one hospital with the one MRI machine.

    During my hospital stay at some point I was transferred from hospital to clinic without my knowledge. So after the insurance refused to pay the clinic bill came. It was at a 20%+ interest rate and they were going to be able to tell me how much I had to pay a month regardless if I could afford it.

    During this year+ long ordeal I contacted a lawyer about the status of admittance question. His fee was going to be larger than the medical bill. He offered to possibly sue the insurance company, max reward $25k (state law). He would take about $15k of that, the insurance still might or might not pay (power of appeal).

    Within the hospital itself was something called ‘The Insurance Action Office’ that was supposed to be able to help with insurance issues. The one time I visited I went to an interior office (no windows) with 3 desks and 2 obviously overworked and bothered ladies who were more than happy to tell me my case worker wasn’t there to get me out of there. It turns out my case worker was never there, and was fired at some point. The one letter I got from this office (about 8 months later) strongly resembled a letter I had sent to the insurance company shortly after they had started to grill me about the claim I had made.

    So what did I do? I put the bill from the clinic on a credit card, arranged a payment schedule with the emergency room, and took a catastrophic medical bill tax write off that offset some of the interest for the balance on the credit card and reduced my taxes for that year.

    I was so bothered by this process to this date I refuse to pay medical insurance for a system that is obviously broken.
    Whenever I go to a hospital now I tell them I don’t have insurance and let my credit rating talk for me and simply tell them they’ll get their money sometime.

  2. The deductibles and out of pocket max’s are confusing especially if you add to that scenario out of network and in network providers. Of course your first crash course in all of it is when you are least likely to be able to handle the stress of learning it all, when you are sick!

    During a 7 weeks hospital stay I became pretty well versed in my insurance companies lingo. The $2000 dollar out of pocket max should mean that is the maximum expense you will have to dish out of your own wallet per calendar year, sometimes it includes co pays or not. Often the out of pocket max is higher & a separate amount entirely for out-of-network providers.

    So, If you show your insurance 2000 dollars of bills you are paying for they should be paying for more of your medical care. Less out of pocket for you for the rest of the year hopefullly. It should include those MRIs etc. That is how it worked for my insurance anyway.

    I also was fortunate enough to have my hospital bills at a Catholic Hospital and they had a Charity that paid for my bills. I still have some in collections though from ambulances, etc. My credit is not perfect anymore but with 3 kids, I cannot pay an extreme amount of hard earned money on overpriced medical bills because I am unfortunate enough to have fallen ill. I just shrug it off sad to say.

    Vent away…this stuff can be so frustrating.

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