a rant

So, here’s the deal. I pay lots of money for health insurance. My monthly premium has a comma in it. It also has a high deductible, but Miss Alex worked through that in her first few hours in the emergency room last spring. Now we pay 20% for our costs.

I thought this would be a good time to take care of some issues I  had. Not emergencies, but just the stuff that comes with age. I had a mole checked out and removed ($600) and today I went to see a specialist for something else. He recommended surgery. I asked him what the costs would be.

He had no idea.

He said it would be impossible to find out. But yes, my guess of  “more than $15,000” could be possible.

But the hospital won’t tell me. He said he doesn’t even have that information.

I have run a business for 30 years. I understand scope creep and project over runs. But I know how much each type of project, even with varying circumstances cost me, and will cost my client.

The kind doctor finally took me into see the business manager. I tried not to feel like a problem child being escorted to the school office. She was also very nice, but said it would be impossible to tell me what the costs would be.  I explained that my decision would be based on if this was an $800 out of pocket expense, or a $5000 out of pocket expense. She nodded sympathetically.

She said she could work up what the doctor’s fees might be, and then send it over to the hospital and they could tell her what similar cases might cost.  And maybe within a week or two, they might be able to give me some idea. Maybe. I asked her if “some idea” meant within a range of a few thousand dollars. She confirmed. It was clear I was asking for something above and beyond, so I thanked her three times for her help.

Next year, I am checking out Kaiser. I am not asking for free, or even cheap health care. I am asking to be able to manage my health care, in a proactive way. I am asking for information so I can make a thoughtful decision.

And I wondered what I would blog about today.

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About kim tackett

Northern CA marketing consultant, writer of very small stories, and drinker of very strong coffee.
This entry was posted in Just Life. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to a rant

  1. Ann says:

    That’s just BS that they couldn’t (wouldn’t) give you an estimate. Definitely check out Kaiser. It’s where I went after having expensive insurance for most of my adult life. It’s a little different but at least I get the care I need for a reasonable cost and they don’t have a problem telling me ” how much” it will cost. I’m using the Davis facility which I like. November is almost here. Start checking it out now.

  2. Penny says:

    I bet your insurance company can tell you exactly what they allow for that procedure and what your co-pay would be. It doesn’t matter what the doctor/hospital charge you – it matters what the insurance company will let them bill, and how much of that will be your responsibility.

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