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negotiating medical costs?

msm-s's picture

Has anyone here ever tried to get the cost of a medical procedure lowered?

MadMom's picture

(post #52268, reply #1 of 83)

We are covered by Medicare, and the cost the government pays, compared to what is charged, is already embarrassingly low.  I did argue with a company once and refused to pay more than they were charging the insurance company (long story, they claimed we were covered, then we found out later we weren't) and we won.  It's always worth a try.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Gary's picture

(post #52268, reply #2 of 83)

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/14/health/14patient.html

The people who gave us golf and called it a game are the same people who gave us bag pipes and called it music and haggis and called it food.

cyalexa's picture

(post #52268, reply #3 of 83)

Whether you decide to negotiate on the cost of procedures or not, always scrutinize an itemized statement and always find out how any procedure not covered by your insurance was coded. A hospital around here took liberities with coding a procedure so that it was not covered by my insurance company and therefore, theoretically, my responsibility (at "full price", not the negotiated rate that would have been paid by insurance for the same procedure with a different code). Once I finally got to communicate with the correct person and explained my position and my willingness to pursue the situation with regulatory bodies and the attorney general's office the claim was resubmitted and all procedures were covered. I really worry about people who cannot afford additional expenses being taken advantage of in this way and hope it is not a common practice.

Gretchen's picture

(post #52268, reply #4 of 83)

What Cyalexa said--I have had procedures miscoded, and the charge changed when I questioned it.


I have often heard of being able to pay off over time.


Gretchen
Gretchen
MadMom's picture

(post #52268, reply #6 of 83)

My father had brain surgery due to an aneurism.  When Medicare got the bill, they questioned the amount the surgeon charged.  I think it was about $4000, which included visiting my Dad in the hospital, etc., all in all, a fair amount, I thought.  They didn't question the $1700 the hospital charged for "VAG SUPP".  I called the hospital and asked what that was.  The answer, obviously, was vaginal suppositories.  I asked exactly where they put them on a 70-year old man.  They embarrassedly said it was obviously a mistake, and they would notify Medicare.  Yeah, right. 



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Gretchen's picture

(post #52268, reply #7 of 83)

Geez.  ;o(

Gretchen

Gretchen
Quilter's picture

(post #52268, reply #9 of 83)

Every time I read one of these threads about medical costs in the U.S., I'm grateful all over again that I live in Canada.


Three years ago, I had an angiogram in a Victoria hospital (a 3 hour flight from my home town).  Total cost to me, including the flight - zero.   


Total monthly medical premiums? Just over $90.00 for both of us.  Paid for by my DHs former employer, and guaranteed for the rest of our lives.  It doesn't matter if DH goes first, the premium coverage will continue until I'm gone as well.


The cost of the flight was covered by my extended health benefits which also cover all our drug costs. Those premiums are currently paid by my employer.  When I retire at the end of next month, I will pay the premiums out of my pension and the cost for both DH and me will be just under $100.00/month.

Ozark's picture

(post #52268, reply #10 of 83)

Just curious, what was your income tax rates (%) before you guys retired?

 


Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!

 

Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!

Gretchen's picture

(post #52268, reply #11 of 83)

It IS always relative, isn't it. BUT the USofA needs to do better.

Gretchen

Gretchen
Ozark's picture

(post #52268, reply #12 of 83)

Yes, but I worry about my sons (late 30's) and grandsons. We have gone from Bush's outrageous  $500 billion  budget to over $3 trillion. Some change!


Edited to add: Where is the outradge now?



 


Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!


Edited 4/19/2009 9:22 pm ET by Ozark


Edited 4/19/2009 9:23 pm ET by Ozark

 

Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!

Quilter's picture

(post #52268, reply #22 of 83)

30%. That puts us in the "middle class'.  My mother, who was on a very fixed income had her medical premiums subsidized by the province and as a result for the last 20 years of her life she paid no premiums at all.


Her drug costs were also subsidized, not as completely, but we have something called 'fair pharmacare' in BC and seniors on low income pay a very small percentage of a drugs total cost.


I know we pay high income taxes, but in Canada I don't think anyone is ever bankrupted by medical bills.  I'll happily pay the taxes, thank you.


Edited 4/19/2009 11:38 pm ET by Quilter

shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #52268, reply #27 of 83)

I absolutely agree. I try to think of taxes not as a burden, but as an investment in a civil society.




"And then, because of the transitive reactive Halstead-era seizing properties of the Aboriginal Double Humpback Turtle, I thought, what if I add one teaspoon of clarified monkey paste?" Anonymous blog comment on "America's Test Kitchen"

sally ryan's picture

(post #52268, reply #28 of 83)

You couldn't have put it better!   That's just how I feel.

shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #52268, reply #29 of 83)

Well, I don't always succeed in keeping positive thoughts about taxes, but whenever I'm in need of medical care, and don't have to worry if my credit card is maxed out or not, I am very grateful to Tommy Douglas et al.  




"And then, because of the transitive reactive Halstead-era seizing properties of the Aboriginal Double Humpback Turtle, I thought, what if I add one teaspoon of clarified monkey paste?" Anonymous blog comment on "America's Test Kitchen"

tagnostic's picture

(post #52268, reply #30 of 83)

when I go to the emergency room, I tell them I'm an Illegal Canadien, they have to treat you like any other illegal alien, get you better and get you out of the hospital, they aren't allowed to report you or your alien status to anyone, at that point they can't even ask for ID, toodles gotta run..and back on your merry way.

tag

Believe Someone Seeking the Truth, Doubt Those That Have Found It
Believe Someone Seeking the Truth, Doubt Those That Have Found It
shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #52268, reply #31 of 83)

ah, but we get treated before it's an emergency, and we don't have to lie to anyone to get the treatment.




"And then, because of the transitive reactive Halstead-era seizing properties of the Aboriginal Double Humpback Turtle, I thought, what if I add one teaspoon of clarified monkey paste?" Anonymous blog comment on "America's Test Kitchen"

Gretchen's picture

(post #52268, reply #32 of 83)

But then there are those pesky "need to be" scheduled operations, etc.


I am NOT trying to pick a fight, and lord knows the US needs to get this done, but there is NOT a comprehensive health care system that is perfect.


Gretchen
Gretchen
shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #52268, reply #33 of 83)

Agreed!




"And then, because of the transitive reactive Halstead-era seizing properties of the Aboriginal Double Humpback Turtle, I thought, what if I add one teaspoon of clarified monkey paste?" Anonymous blog comment on "America's Test Kitchen"

Glenys's picture

(post #52268, reply #35 of 83)

Doesn't every operation that's elective (meaning not running from the ER) have to be scheduled?
I'm still baffled with the concept of "insuring" health, mostly because it's loaded in favour of the house. I'm also not a huge fan of insurance companies, especially after Katrina.
I still don't understand being "covered" when you're simply being a human being.


Edited 4/21/2009 8:48 pm by Glenys

Gretchen's picture

(post #52268, reply #36 of 83)

You are of course, correct. I should have just stayed out of it all together. We have had these discussions many times, and many say they would come to the US to have "X". 


 I can't say anything more. We here need to do "something" about an IMMENSE problem. As I understand the Canadian system, it isn't always "wonderful". 


Gretchen
Gretchen
Glenys's picture

(post #52268, reply #37 of 83)

No system is perfect, I concur, but I believe there are two fundamentals that every person should be allowed to grow with and that's education and health. Without health, education is irrelevant. I also think that when health care has been to fundamentally tied to employment, it's like mixing church and state.
You're correct, one may opt to cross border shop for a procedure and in the U.S., someone may be declined health care or their family is run into bankruptcy over medical bills.
How can anyone's health be measured in irretrievable billings?

On the other hand, you don't want to know what I think about health plans when it comes to extraordinary numbers of children, fertilization and other stresses on any system. And I don't mean the mothers'. Yes, I'm a ******.


Edited 4/21/2009 8:59 pm by Glenys

msm-s's picture

(post #52268, reply #39 of 83)

amen sister!
Everything is relative, isn't it? Someone expecting insurance to cover certain things that may be considered "wants", when my measeley insurance won't cover Cat scans my oncologist has ordered-- well, that just doesn't seem right.

Glenys's picture

(post #52268, reply #40 of 83)

Those are the things that baffle me as well. We've diagnosed you with XWZ for sure; we need to do "the test" to see the degree for treatment. We will do treatment but won't do the XWZ test. But then, we may not do the treatment if XWZ test deems "you're not worthy" (to coin another Canadian in the movies). How is that health care? Oh wait, it's not, it's insurance.


Edited 4/21/2009 9:13 pm by Glenys

tagnostic's picture

(post #52268, reply #41 of 83)

My favorite is, "we don't know what it is, so its not covered, unless your willing to be a guinea pig indefinately and even then it won't be covered until we know what it is", morons

tag

Believe Someone Seeking the Truth, Doubt Those That Have Found It
Believe Someone Seeking the Truth, Doubt Those That Have Found It
nexus's picture

(post #52268, reply #46 of 83)

I fail to understand how this makes you a ******.


Cheryl

MadMom's picture

(post #52268, reply #47 of 83)

Glenys is just a ******.  That's why we love her so.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

nexus's picture

(post #52268, reply #59 of 83)

To you and Shy Woodland, I have always been the designated ****** and as I am older than Glenys, though she is by far the better designated cook, I am by far the designated ******.


This is influenced by some monumetally irritating work crap and 2 vodka martinis.


Love you all,


Cheryl


Cheryl

MadMom's picture

(post #52268, reply #60 of 83)

Sweetheart, if we were going to designate a Super ******, there would be a huge fight.  Let's just say there's more than one, LOL.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

nexus's picture

(post #52268, reply #61 of 83)

Yes of course, but I've always been one and I have xp cred from both parents and two grandparents (one on each side). Truly the real deal and a Jewish Mother for the icing on that cake. :)


Cheryl

shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #52268, reply #62 of 83)

Shall we arm-wrestle for the title? Best two out of three? (I have the edge, having several seriously dysfunctional Irish Catholic ancestors, including clergy, to my credit) ;^)




"And then, because of the transitive reactive Halstead-era seizing properties of the Aboriginal Double Humpback Turtle, I thought, what if I add one teaspoon of clarified monkey paste?" Anonymous blog comment on "America's Test Kitchen"