Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Woe Is My Wallet!

Recall from a previous post that I had my banged-up knee MRI-ed.

The procedure wasn't fun, the results were inconclusive, and....

My HMO rammed me on the co-pay!

What should be the co-pay on a procedure that has to cost less than $1,000 now?

They sent me an eye-popping $500 bill and apparently that's what I owe despite paying around $11,000 annually for a family health plan!

I've had MRIs in the past and NEVER paid such an exorbitant amount. Perhaps $100 at best. Heck I think my surgery co-pays have never been more than $100.

And I must say, I've noticed that the bills from dentists and doctors have been getting waaaaaay more aggressive. Seemingly the very next day after any kind of appointment, our mailbox gets spammed with bills regardless whether or not the treatment was covered by our insurance. Surely, many of y'all have also noticed an uptick in aggressive billing.

It's standard, right? They always make you sign that paper agreeing to pay any amount not reimbursed by your HMO. BUT it's never that much or that often in play. From now on I'm going to be a whole lot more careful, a whole lot more financially dilligent before undergoing any medical procedure.

The next time I need an MRI...

I may just walk-in and try to slip the technician $250 cash!

For background, see - Woe Is MY Knee.


neil said...

may or may not have been less than $1000 depending on where you had the test done. Similar stories in the Boston Globe and Worcester T&G in the last year about the varying cost of health care from place to place in MA over the last year. The short version is some of the big university hospitals have greater bargaining power with health insurance for a variety of reasons and charge higher rates for everything.

Also all of the health insurance companies in MA(if not nationally) are jacking up their co pays. Their current idea to cut costs is to get patients to share in some of the cost burden of health care and decide maybe I don't want that test, procedure, etc because of the cost

Mark said...

I'm guessing Rush used ALL CASH for that pain pill addiction he had (and seemingly forgot) a few years back!

By the way, C-nut, didn't you say you had to badger your doc into ordering the MRI??

Just saying....

Mark said...

And Neil is absolutely correct