Thursday, January 31, 2008

$30,373 medical bill $0 paid

We get bills like this all the time. This one was a relatively small one. Little T pulled his g-tube out and we weren't able to put it back in time. We had to go the Emergency Room and then Little T had an minor operation to widen the hole to put another g-tube back in.

The total billed costs which is what an uninsured person would pay are $30,773.50

Medical Inpatient $ 21,921.00
Outpatient charge $ 91.50
Diagnostic Testing$ 8,361.00

Our insurance actually paid $3,900 of the inpatient rate which is their contracted rate. They paid nothing for the other two charges "payment for this service is included in the per diem rate or per case rate fee paid to your provider."

We paid nothing as our insurance pays for all hospitalizations and ER visits that result in admittance to the hospital.

Moral of the story:
1. Uninsured folks get really soaked.
2. Get the best health care insurance you can afford
3. We really need health care reform in this country, because it's a crappy system where folks who are either too poor or too unable to plan to get health insurance pay the most.
4. I bet Medical/Mediaid also gets soaked as they probably have a higher negotiated rate than insurance.


Anonymous said...

In reality, uninsured folks generally get a huge discount from the full amount you see on the bill that goes to your insurance company. It's a lot like a store marking up prices just before a sale so they can advertise "50% off" and still make enough money to get by. In addition, people who can't afford the care, especially for ER visits, can get their bill reduced or forgiven under hospital "charity care" programs.

Medicaid does not get soaked, as they just stipulate what they'll pay for a certain procedure and that's what they pay (this is why it can be hard to find a doc who accepts medicaid).

Aurora said...

I come from Canada where health care is free. Before that I lived in England where health care is even more free. It's as simple as that and I hope some day the US figures it out. Sorry to hear about your huge bill.

Daisy said...

This makes me really ache for so many of my students who don't have health insurance even though their parents are working. "Working poor" is more than a media catchphrase to them. Sorry to hear about your little one losing his G-tube; you sound so matter of fact about it. You must be very calm parents in the face of adversity.

Suzy said...

Oh my god. That's completely insane! No wonder the whole presidential campaign is health insurance this and health insurance that!

I really hope the US health insurance changes. I'm pretty thankful I'm Dutch, when it comes to that.

But sorry to hear about Little T, glad he's ok now though :)

Thida said...

Cubes 500% would be $15k and insurance paid less than $4k.

Aurora - I grew up in England and that definitely shapes my view.

Daisy- we have our moments but our little guy's been through a lot worse and getting better all the time.

Suzy - He's fine now. I really hope the next president can change things.