Medical costs

A month ago my wife was bitten by a stray cat. A series or Rabies shots was found necessary so we went the hospital for treatment.

The initial treatment was a series of shots followed by subsequents shots at 3, 7, 14 and 28 days.

The hospital billed $18,621 in total, we were amazed when we saw the bills!
The insurance provider paid $6,911 and denied $11,213 which the hospital accepted.
We paid $497 in co-pay.

If we had not had insurance we would have had to pay the full amount of $18,621.

The interesting part is that because we had insurance the hospital accepted $11,213 less than if we had not had insurance. One has to wonder why a person paying out of his own pocket would be expected to pay that much more,over twice as much, for the same treatment.

So, is our medical system broken?

About zaph

Long term Mac/iOS & Cocoa developer.
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8 Responses to Medical costs

    • Sunil says:

      There are a lot of variables to your quoetisn. The allowable amount of the procedure would hidge on the zip code where services are rendered, procedure codes billed and the contract with that paticular facility. Generally speaking the MRI companies bill somewhere in the range of $1200 per episode. The insurance company will leverage about $600-$900. If you are looking to get this done, I would suggest reaching out to a radiology facility versus doing this out-patient hospital. You are more likely to work a deal with the smaller facility then the monster hospital system. Call around you may get a better deal in the less populated areas of town. FYI- Keep in mind that the MRI itself is not the only charge A radiologist will often sneak a seperate bill in there for about $100-200.

  1. Love says:

    Each company has it’s own wainitg period. Check about COBRA coverage and see if it’s something you can have until your new policy takes effect. COBRA is kind of a gap insurance so if you lose your job, you have a short period of time to keep the coverage until you can do something else. Unfortunately, the cost is usually more than we can afford because of a job change or loss. If you have coverage where your company pays part of your monthly premium, once you go to COBRA, you have to pay the full amount since your company will no longer pay their part. Kind of *****. Good Luck anyway

    • Krishna says:

      Assuming you are in the US an MRI can easily run 2000-2500. Plus you will have to pay sereval hundred to the radiologist who reads the MRI.If you have health insurance, you pay per your health insurance plan. Call the customer service for your health insurance and ask them about your plan details. Most health insurance companies have an approved charge that is about 60% of what the providers normal charge is. You would pay your co-pay amount (ex: 20%) of the approved charge.If you do not have health insurance, the hospital will bill you the full price. You can call them and set up a payment plan- say 100 per month. This is usually interest free. As long as you make your payments every month- they will not put it on your credit. If you can pay them a lump sum, they may be willing to negotiate with you and accept less.

  2. Angela Roman says:

    Annette Pappas of Brockton, Mass., a medical billing administrator who has worked in hospitals and doctor’s offices, haggled over her own steep fees after developing breast cancer in 2005 while self-employed and without insurance. Knowing she’d need to tap a home equity credit line to pay for her $19,000-a-week chemotherapy and Herceptin shots, Pappas negotiated with the hospital before beginning treatment. “I said, ‘I’m paying for my own health care and can’t afford to pay you these charges. Can you work with me?’” The sympathetic billing manager gave her a 45 percent discount. “I knew that was well in line with what the insurance companies would have paid,” Pappas says.

    • Frank says:

      I just had a CT scan done they charged my inuscanre $542.00 and I owe nothing. I have awesome inuscanre. My inuscanre paid the entire amount. Now I also had an MRI done recently, but I have not got the EOB on that one yet. I’m sure they paid well on that too. I am guessing if you don’t have ins. you would have to pay the MRI place the full amount.

  3. “The clinical programs we want to provide are very expensive, high-acuity programs you don’t see in community hospitals. If we are the only provider in the region who offers them, then everyone needs to have access,” Beck says.

  4. Kali says:

    Most health iaesrnncus WILL cover standard Radiographic tests such as CT scans, X-rays and MRI’s. As far as not having health insurance, most hospitals and maybe doctors offices will offer a financial aid for people who do not have health insurance. MRI’s are used for diagnostic purposes so, if you need one and your doctor has ordered one, then I don’t see why you would have a hard time getting your health insurance to cover it, or to get financial aid for one. If you can’t get financial aid to assist you, than the MRI place or hospital will be able to work a payment plan out with you. Good Luck!

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