Thursday, March 25, 2010

Learning by Experience: Medical Billing 101

This week I sent off a check for about $200 to the clinic for that echo-cardiogram I had a while back. It applies to my $500 deductible. I thought that meant I was done.

I was wrong.

Today I found out through my insurance company (and their explanation of benefits form) that the $200 charge was only dipping my toe in the water. The rest of the claims came through and were recently finalized. My insurance company was billed $1,624 for that day. On top that $200 bill I already paid. Silly me for thinking something like an echo-cardiogram would only cost $200. And silly me for assuming they'd bill everything at once. Why would they want to do a crazy thing like that?

Thanks to the magic of insurance, I only have to pay $350 of that. CONGRATULATIONS! I have now met my deductible for the year. That sure didn't take long. What do I win? Well, let's look at it this way. If I had a higher deductible, I'd be paying a lot more of that $1600 out of pocket. That's what I win. I'm suddenly very glad I opted for the low-deductible plan.

I need a bagel.

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