Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rant Mode

Have I mentioned lately that I think the health care system in this country is broken?

Just as I suspected would happen, the phone calls have begun from the hospital regarding the payment of the bill.

Last month they called and wanted to know about payment and I asked them if they had billed the insurance company yet (after all it had been over 60 days since the surgery) and they said no, they hadn't billed because the insurance company had refused to pay on the June outpatient procedure.

HELLO? The July thing was NOT outpatient --- they needed to bill it!

Ok, so this month I got the billing for the June thing (which I had already been paying on) and a different billing, with a different account number, for the July thing.

I wrote small checks on both accounts and sent them in along with a letter asking if they would please combine the accounts and I would continue paying on them.

So yesterday I got the call.

Hospital: We need to work out a payment plan
Me: I'm making a payment on this every month
Hospital: We're rolling out a new policy, we used to require payment within 4 months, now we're stretching it out to 15 months
Me: Are you going to combine the accounts?
Hospital: No, we can't do that
Me: So you're going to want me to pay this new amount on both acccounts every month?
Hospital: Yes, that's our policy.

(let me point out here that their new amount is about twice as much as I had been sending them each month, and now they want that amount on each account, which amounts to about 4 times what I had been paying)

Me: So what happens if I can't pay that amount?
Hospital: The bill will go to collections.
Me: And if I agree to this and then at some point I can't pay it what will happen?
Hospital: The bill will go to collections.

I agreed to their payment plan, but I can almost bet that at some point I'm going to get sent to collections.

We're not getting a raise next year because it's been decided that the cost of living has gone down (HA!), so at some point I'll probably have to decide which is more important --- paying for the ongoing monthly medications that are needed or making that unreasonable payment.

Sure could use some "fund raising" ideas


Nancy G said...

How about we sell a Congress critter or two? Oh, sorry, can't do that; the health insurance lobby already bought them all. (Me, cynical? No, not at all; why do you ask?)

Alison said...

Does that $250 check to make up for the lack of COLA raise apply to you guys? I can hope...

I was heartened to read in the Washington Post that the overreaching and threatening by the health insurance lobbyists of late has backfired on them bigtime. About time!

Travelin'Oma said...

I've just been catching up on blog reading. I totally agree with you and sympathize. The whole health-care situation is my ongoing nightmare. It has to change! But, even when it changes, we'll still have all our medical debts. I get in rant mode whenever I think about it!