Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Never Open Medical Bills BEFORE Taking Your Blood Pressure Meds

Get the cheese out because this is going to be a bit of a whinefest.....

The bill finally arrived for my 4 day spa hospital stay at the beginning of April.
Wanna see it?

Yes, you read that correctly.......$25,688.83 for 3 days in the hospital.

(They charged me for 4 full days even though it was 3 days.....the crooks!)

Fortunately, the amount we actually have to pay is $1,456.58, including a $150 co-pay for the Emergency room, a $1,200 co-insurance maximum per 1 person in the plan(was partially fulfilled before this bill/illness), and a deductible amount of $106.58.
Of course $1,456.58 isn't ALL we will have to pay on this illness/treatment.
This is just the First Bill.......

We pay $5,892.12 every YEAR for the honor of having this particular medical insurance policy plus $4,000 in family deductibles.

If you compile the costs of  ALL the insurance--Dental insurance, Vision insurance, Long Term Care insurance and Life insurance, we pay $9,907.56 for medical/life coverage a year.
And that's if no one gets sick and has to use any of this fine coverage!

Add in the $4,000 in deductibles for a grand total of $13,907.56 paid each year(before co-pays).


I think I'll keep a running tab on my side bar for the rest of the year for our medical costs that we pay out of pocket in 2013.

On second thought, maybe I don't want to SEE the grand total we are paying out. 8-(

And I just remembered that this is a family plan HMO that doesn't increase per number of people in the family....the "family" can be 1 person or we can be the Duggars, we pay the same for however more people than just the person who's name the insurance is in.
The daughter can't use our $13K+ a year insurance plan in Louisiana, except for the prescription drug benefit and ER visits.
We have to buy her a separate policy which will cost us about another $70 a month, for another $420 in insurance costs(before co-pays)for 2013.
This raises our coverage costs at the moment to $14,327.56.

Don't get me wrong.....I appreciate that we have medical insurance!
But this third party payer system is insane!
Let's charge someone a smaller amount if they don't have insurance but if they do, well Nelly bar the door!, let's charge their insurance provider up the wazoo because we know they have deep, deep pockets.

And Obamacare?
Yah, I don't even want to see what 2014's rates will rise to!
Whatever happened to "you can keep the insurance you have now and your rates will not go up", and all that "free medical care"?
Oh I's an illusion.  It's a lie.

It figures that as soon as I go into menopause someone figures out a scheme to give woman free birth control.
The one freebie Obama has given to the masses and I can't benefit from

The medical bills from this latest health adventure I am on are starting to come in fast & furiously.
I don't have much hope for socking any money away for my $20K Savings Challenge this month.
And that is a really sad state of affairs since May is a 3 paycheck month for us.

 So what is YOUR medical insurance and all insurances(except property insurances)costing you a year?
You might not want to add it all up.......



  1. I agree with a lot but one thing. If you didn't have insurance they would just send you the 25K bill and say pay up. And most folks don't because they don't have the money or they try and fail. What they don't realize is that the bill is the "list" price for the services and of they called and offered less they could negogiate a relatively better deal. In your case your insurance company negotiated that deal. Trust me - they aren't really paying 24K to the hospital.

    1. Oh I KNOW my insurance co. isn't paying those inflated charges. But why when I had moles removed back in Jan did I have the option of paying them $150 cash OR they could submit to insurance and they would have billed it for $1000+? If they billed it and it wasn't covered by insurance I'd get the delightful task of paying the dr. office $1000+? Try calling a hospital/dr./lab and getting a list of their prices so you can shop around for a service. The medical offices don't even KNOW what they charge and just look at you clueless if you ask them what a procedure or service costs.
      Because that's just what they did when my brother(who had no medical insurance) got very sick a few years ago and we were trying to find care he could afford.
      It's this 3rd party payer system I tell ya!
      Let's go back to having dr./hospitals publish their prices for a list of their services like we had 100 years ago in this country.
      We need some good old fashioned competition.
      When the govt. totally controls your healthcare(and it's coming if things don't change in this country soon), let's see how the insane prices skyrocket for insurance then!

  2. Sluggy, I'm Canadian and my medical plan ( covers drugs, dental and eyes) costs me about 1000/year, but I paid over 13000 in income tax last year on a 56000 gross income... plus 13% sales tax on everything but food...

    1. So for your healthcare you get to pay $1K a year and then you get to pay part of those $13K in taxes to your healthcare too and Everyone else's healthcare who doesn't have insurance. I wonder what percentage of that 13% VAT tax also goes toward medical at the provincial level?

      Over 23% of your Gross income on taxes. Add in housing, food, transportation costs, your medical and that doesn't leave much... 8-(

    2. Sluggy, by the end of my FT pay, there is very little left, and that's why I work a second Pt job as a server in a restaurant...

  3. I was in the hospital for less than 24 hours in April. Just the hospital part was over 14,000.00. Not even 24 hours. But like you I am thankful for my health insurance.

  4. Uggg... thanks... I had surgery (outpatient) last Thurs. You have me soooo excited. We pay about $550. for 3 on medical a month and 63. for 350K term life insurance. Had to drop dental when it was more than our typical dental costs. Ditto with vision. Max out of pocket is $2300. each (unless it has changed and that is likely this year). We shall see... oh and 15 year-old has impacted wisdom teeth coming out in one month. It could have been a nice vacation! Angela

    1. Yah, you could go on a real posh vacation with the $9,656(base with OOPs)each year you pay out.
      Sorry to remind you but at least like Bill Clinton use to say, I feel your pain....

  5. My one night hospital stay for my fibroid procedure was 31K before negotiation! The poor do have it worse -- they bill everyone the high rate. I hope that with more focus on the health care debacle, that billing will be looked at more closely. The research published by Time should have kicked off an immediate investigation by the government. But hospitals and insurance companies are big business and thus able to escape scrutiny.

    I am hoping you are able to curtail your health issues with your new eating plans and lifestyle changes. That is the best way to fight it!

    1. Yeah, I am fighting it.
      But something gets all of us eventually and can bankrupt us before we pass.
      Let's not even get into the whole nursing home racket....

  6. Are you going to call them and correct them on the number of days you were in? I would. Your stay cost almost 3 times what it cost me to have a baby 4 years ago. Freakin outrageous!

    1. It was freaking outrageous and that's without them operating on me or running a lot of tests!
      Imagine if I had had surgery....

      I tried calling them but they insist I was there more than 72 hours. Of course the first 17 hours was spent in the ER bay because there were no beds upstairs but they are counting cooling my heels in the ER as taking up a hospital bed.
      I don't see the point of fighting them on this since it would cost me more money than I am paying for that 4th day to hire someone to challenge them legally.

    2. Every portion of a day counts as a day.

  7. My fiance's 93 year old gma spent 7 days in the hospital in February. She is on Medicare. the bill for the hospital stay alone was over $119,000. Her out of pocket was $1100. As you know, this bill didn't include lab tests, radiology, doc consults etc. I feel your pain. No wonder our medical system is such a mess.

    1. I tell ya part of the solution is competition and taking control out of the 3rd party payers hands.
      I am sure your fiancé's grandma is rolling in all that SS dough and can afford that bill. lol

  8. I can add it up, mostly because I only pay for 1-2 Dr visits a year for physicals and tests, and that's it. Even when I've gotten sick, it's been 2-3 $50 copays. I think in the past 4 years, I've paid an estimate of $350 in Dr-medical stuff (not counting allergy meds). The sad thing is that I've spent over $500/4yrs in optometrist costs, and I do have vision insurance! That said, I'm terrified of getting to the point where I'll need more than physicals...

    1. Hang onto your youth and health as long as you can Tanner. Getting old is a bitch.... ;-)

  9. This is one area I am in such denial about.
    I am fortunate enough to decent (not great) health insurance and relatively good (knock wood) health. I just the whole idea of having to deal with it

    1. Dealing with the healthcare system in this country is a nightmare! I really hate thinking about being at an advanced age later on and having to deal with Medicare and all that crap.
      I hear it's enough to make you want to just die already....

  10. Our pay checks dropped about $400 per month due to the swell, "your insurance rates will not go up" thing too... due to that. And yuck. We can't afford to get sick... Our initial OOP is a fortune per person per year and nothing is paid until that is completed. My husbands company TRIES to get us the best & cheapest group plan, but it gets worse each year...

  11. I don't even want to think about how much money we are wasting on insurance. The sad thing is I have found for the common cold it is easier just to pay cash at the CVS clinic and be done with it. How flipping sad is it that we have insurance but it is easier just to go to CVS ?
    I feel so bad for you. I really do. Why is it the hard good people try the more they get kicked? Den says so often that we should just give up and go on welfare. It might be easier. The health care would be a hell of a lot better than what we have.
    It just doesn't seem right to me that you have to pay thousands of dollars for something and then have to pay again if you use the service. Something is so wrong!!!!

  12. I had to pay 2000.00 up front because I had not met my deductible. I know hospitals are asking for more and more money up front to make up for the money they are not getting due to people not paying their bills. I used to work at the hospital where I went in April and we never asked for money up front.
    Healthcare is such a touchy subject. Some folks want "free" healthcare for everyone. I hate to tell them but it's not free. Our taxes would be more. Look at Canada, their residents pay more taxes than we do, in most cases. And some folks like me want 'affordable" healthcare for everyone. What that is well good luck trying to define it.
    Years ago I worked for Kaiser Permanente. Copays were like 5 or 10 dollars. Because of these low copays folks would come see the doctor for anything and everything and I do mean everything. How about a broken fingernail? Yep that happened. Now would you see the doctor for a broken fingernail if you had to pay the full cost of the visit? I kind of doubt it. Needless to say Kaiser is not in existence in North Carolina anymore. Way too many people took advantage of it plus I'm sure other things went into the decision as well. But my point is healthcare is going to cost something. We can't have policies cover EVERYTHING and expect to not pay for it. It simply can't happen. The US would be in even worse financial shape than it is now.
    Way too hard to figure out.

  13. I was charged about $15K for a test done as an outpatient. Those charges were for cardiovascular doctor, hospital, something else. That was in 2003.

  14. I am too lazy to calculate everything right now, but I pay $240/month for medical insurance premiums. Dental and vision are separate. We have a $300 deductible for each of us, then pay 20% of all expenses up to $3000. Of course, dr visit copays don't count toward the $3000.

    We met Hubby's max out of pocket in mid April.

  15. I forgot to add, I always ask for a discount on our part of medical bills. Our cardiologist told us to do that. Almost everyone gives us some kind of discount for paying the bill in full.


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