Quick and Dirty

Hey sicko, get your mind out of the gutter. This is about bike racing. And some other stuff.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

and the winner is......

Mayo!!!!!! My total bill including ambulance ride, surgery and a night in a private room in the hospital came to a grand total of 1200 euros. That's about $1800.

That is a reasonable amount of money to pay for medical services. That's an amount of money that most people would be able to pay on their own for medical services. What would I have paid if my achilles had ruptured in the US? My guess is upwards of $60,000. That is an incomprehensible and absurd amount of money to be charged. Our system here is broken, I don't have an answer on how to fix it but something needs to be done. As far as I can tell from my dealings with my insurance company it's the insurance companies that are making money. I was informed by Blue Cross that if they deem my surgery a "non emergency" they will pay only $380 after the deductible is met. This irritates me because in this situation I'd be better off having no insurance at all and using the money I saved form having no insurance to pay the bill.

So when I got home I needed an ortho in the states to remove my cast and monitor my progress etc. I logged onto the Blue Cross website and clicked around on the "Find a Doctor" section, found a doctor and went from there. The doctor's office billed BC for me nice and simple right? Love letters from BC are showing up saying they don't cover the services provided by the ortho and nothing is being applied to my deductible. When I called the other day to find out why I was informed that my ortho is not a Preferred Provider. When I told the customer service rep that I found the ortho on their website under the heading Preferred Providers she told me that contracts can change and it's my fault for not knowing this. The people at the Doctor's office must not know either because they willingly bill BC.

Now that my blood pressure has gone up I'm going to hop on the trainer for an hour to calm down. Then I'm off to a warm beach for a week of holiday.



At 8:31 PM, Blogger X Bunny said...

i would appeal this with blue cross (you'll have to look up their official appeal policy)

and i would talk to the ortho some more--if they took your blue cross card without telling you they weren't a provider, they misled you and should accept blue cross' out-of-network payment (which i don't understand why BC isn't at least paying that much....)

good luck

At 2:00 PM, Blogger Brent said...

Jen and I went through this when we found out she was pregnant. My insurance website listed about 10 gynos and baby docs when I looked in Nov (right before deadline to choose another option from work), so I left it as it was.
We called to make an appointment with 3 of those docs and they all said they had dropped contracts with them 2 years prior.
Turns out all of them had dropped the insurance carrier in the area... SO in the end I had to make 6 or 7 hours worth of calls seeking Gap coverage since they didnt have a sponsored doc within 30 miles (actually over 100) and even then we have to pay a chunk more for the deductible because they are out of network. FUn stuff.
Hope you are well, say howdy to dj.

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