28 November 2007

Is it just me?

Do you have real, serious problems with almost every medical bill you receive?

Just this week I have had 2 egregious mistakes -

1. About 3 months ago, I got billed $1025 for a procedure done 11 months ago (needle biopsies in both breasts). At the time, they only billed my insurance for one breast, so then they waited almost a year and billed ME for the rest of it. I wrote and told them to go back to my insurance company. They billed me again. I called them. They said it was taken care of.

They just sent me a FINAL NOTICE. When I called, they said they would look into it and call me back. I waited all day but they never called. I called at quarter to five and the same rep I talked to the day before said "Oh, I was wondering why that file was on my desk all day!" They promised to rebill. I have little hope.

2. I got a brief exam of my shoulder. The doc billed my insurance for draining the bursa and injecting me with 2 drugs as well as $375 for an exam. I contacted the insurance company's fraud department.

The moral of the story? Keep all your EOBs. Examine them with eagle eyes. Match them up with your dates of service. Question everything. Note who you talked to. Get their extension #. Report irregularities. No one is going to do it for you.

This is assuming, of course, that you are lucky enough to have health insurance.

10 comments:

Maggie said...

When I lived in the states this used to happen to me all the time. We had so many errors from the insurance company that one girl in the HR office spent ALL of her time just fixing them for the employees. What a rip off.

Mrs. Swizzle said...

Preach sister!

I never paid much attention to my EOBs until I started working in my chiropractor's office dealing with insurance issues. I'M the person you would have spoken to at that office. And I would have followed through.

Sometimes the insurance companies can be a pain to deal with. Sometimes they listen to the patient (who's paying them) more than they listen to the doctor's office (who's asking for money).

sam said...

Oh. My. Gosh.

That's one reason I am so grateful to be Canadian.

Just reading this gave me chills.

one smarmy mama said...

I had one a year or two ago.....my husband got a new job so we switched insurances, and like a good little patient, I dutifully gave them my new insurance card. They they kept billing my old insurance. So, I'd get a letter from my old insurance telling me "we're not paying for this" and then a note from the doctors office saying "You need to pay us NOW!" and I'd call and say "Uhm NEW INSURANCE". And even though they have ONE biller, she kept asking me "Did you give us your new card" YES MOTHERFUCKER I GAVE YOU THE NEW CARD! "Well can you fax it TO ME". Ok, so I fax it to her. This went on FOR MONTHS. They doctors office turned the whole thing over to collections and then when they FINALLY got it straight, they wanted ME to pay their fee for the collection agency. HA! Idiots.

Suzanne said...

When I was undergoing a lot of tests for my mysterious digestive ailment that, years later, continues to be mysterious, I spent several hours every week calling between doctors offices and insurance companies to see which idiot screwed up the billing. Usually it was both. I decided that my mysterious digestive ailment might improve a bit if I weren't so stressed and aggravated all the time, so I stopped seeing doctors about it. This partly worked.

Erika Jurney, Plain Jane Mom said...

It's not just you. I took my son to his eye specialist about 9 months ago and they never billed the insurance company. The same insurance that has covered every eye doctor visit before and after as well as a 5-figure surgery.

Every time I called they said they would bill the insurance company.

Instead it got sent to a collection agency! I think it is all straightened out now, but I LOATHE insurance assholes.

mar said...

um, yes. insurance issues.
supposedly mine is now resolved, once i receive my new insurance card.
apparently the reason the trouble started is because my old employer didn't cancel my policy when i applied w/ my current employer 2 1/2 years ago, so they couldn't have 2 accounts w/ the same #, so they made up a fake number, then later canceled it because the state said you can only use your ssn. i didn't know anything about this because they've been paying for my appts & scripts since that point, but they never reinstated the policy under my actual ssn. now i have to resubmit every bill i've had from 1/1/07 to current. that includes my 2 hospital stays in september. yippee!
but at least i have insurance (again) yeesh!

Anonymous said...

You're so not the only one! Just this week I received a bill for a procedure that was performed out of network, but that my insurance had approved of and waived weeks prior to the procedure ... it took my doctor's intervening with my 'case manager' to gain the waiver - I wonder hwat it will take for the insurance company to honor their own waiver? It really does make me sick...

Christina said...

My cousin's insurance was billed for a circumcision... for the birth of her daughter.

Very common practice, thanks for spreading the warning!

Kizz said...

Oh god this frightens and depresses me. I'm just now having to use my newish health insurance relatively often and the convolutedness and meanness of the process fills me with anger and despair.

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