Thursday, April 15, 2010
I'm Healing and getting Sicker by the Bill
I got sick. I couldn't avoid a trip to the hospital. I have no insurance. I do not have the funds nor the assets to pay for the huge hospital bill that I know is coming. I've decided to blog about what occurs when something like this happens to the lower middle class folks who work (or have worked far more than their fair share) for a living so they don't qualify for any sort of help. There are far, far, more of us than most of you want to believe there are.
The first two bills came in the mail today. One is from Florence, NC from Arkansas Pathology Associates for looking at a biopsy. I had to call them to find out what the bill was for because this was not included on the bill. I then asked them if they would reduce their fees if I was able to pay cash for the charge. The young lady replied, "No". So I then asked if the billed amount was what Medicaid, or Medicare, or what an insurance company would pay them and the young lady again replied, "No" because we would be paid at their discounted rate for the procedure.
So. Arkansas Pathology Associates may only receive 50 to 60% for this charge from a medicaid, medicare, or insurance provider, but someone like me who can't get insurance, can't afford insurance, and does not qualify for medicaid or medicare, has to pay the full amount charged.
Does anyone other than myself see how wrong this is?
The second bill came from the Anesthesiologists group and the amount was for $1105. I called them because anesthesiologists wasn't on the statement anywhere and again, I wanted to know what the charges were for. A young lady named Crysta was immediately helpful and provided me with the information I requested. When I told her I did not have insurance she immediately told me that she could discount the charged to less than half and if I could send her a check for $500, the account would be paid in full. Before agreeing to this, I asked her if I'd still get the discount if I couldn't pay the $500 in full but had to pay it over 3 or 4 months. She told me no. If payments were set up, the original charges would be due.
I can't see too much right about this either. If you don't have insurance your cost for medical is automatically 50 to 70% more. I'm very glad that I have $500 to send to them but I'm running out of money and the largest bills haven't even arrived yet.
I wonder if I have any body parts worth selling?