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Help... Frustrating Medical Bills

2830cocoa's picture



I would like to get feedback from my friends at FC.  I recently had a baby and am now dealing with lots of medical bills.  I have and had insurance but I just can't believe how much me and my insurance have been charged.  I had a vaginal birth without any drugs or complications, and it seems that the doctors and hospital have still maxed all my benefits.  I cannot find anyone who is willing to negotiate for a cash settlement at all, it seems like I will have to let my bills go into collection before they will even consider.  When I complain about the rediculous fees they only want to offer me a payment plan.  I feel like I have been taken advantage of.  It rediculous to see how much they charge for simple things like aspirin while in the hospital.  I am wondering if anyone else has had to deal with similiar issues recently, and I am wondering how you dealt with the big mega medical businesses such as those here in illinois.

Andy2's picture

Medical Bills (post #69531, reply #1 of 3)

I recall seeing a local tv station piece on mistakes/unfair charges billed to customers. There are free/paid services available. There are many articles on the web. Here is one I found. Good luck.

2830cocoa's picture

medical bills (post #69531, reply #2 of 3)

Thankyou for taking the time to respond to me.  I always question medical bills.  I would feel much more comfortable about what I am paying for if doctors were required to list prices and give estimates before performing a procedure. 

Just recently I had to have a decaying tooth taken care of.  My Dental insurance would have paid more if I waited till January, but my dentist insisted last December that I could not wait because it was tooth decay and could spread fast.  I decided to have the work done in December which made it cost $300 more.  The Dentist told me the day he did my tooth that it wasn't as severe as he previously thought.  I think he was pressuring me because business has been slow due to so many people unemployed and without insurance.  I was annoyed.   My point is I would like to compare prices between doctors before I have service.  Doesn't that just seem like how it should be?

Gretchen's picture

If your insurance is maxed (post #69531, reply #3 of 3)

If your insurance is maxed out with the birth of your baby you may need to inquire about the adequacy of that insurance. Have you asked the human services office at your employer to help you negotiate the bill--or why your insurance hasn't covered it.  Yes, it is amazing what individual charges are in hospitals IF it is not being covered by insurance. That is because insurance companies negotiate with the hospital for a reduced rate.

As for "shopping for doctors or dentists"  by price, not my cup of tea at all.  There is NOTHING wrong with asking any doctor what his charge will be BEFORE the procedure. 

Had you maxed out your dental insurance in December also?  Your dentist might have really thought the tooth was in bad enough shape that it would abscess, in which case you might have been facing a root canal and a crown--perhaps thousands of dollars. 

I much prefer to form a relationship with my medical and dental providers that I trust deeply, and not question their motives if they recommend I have something performed, and particularly not question if they are lining their pockets. That is demeaning to a person that probably has only your best interests in mind. 

AND yes, I AM a doctor's wife, and YES, recently had a very expensive and very short stay in the hospital, paid for by insurance. Yes, the charges were astronomical, as I knew they would be from previous experience.  In the spirit of full disclosure.

I am truly sorry you are facing these financial strains, but being educated in advance is always best. I am surprised your doctor and/or the hospital didn't do that.