With all the whoop de doo about everyone in the country ‘having’ to have health insurance coverage, and the push to entice the ‘average’ American to purchase the ‘Obama Plan’ or else . . . I would like to take this opportunity to point out a possibly little known FACT to the un-enlightened consumer about health insurance and the consequences of having said insurance.
A few years back I attended one of those home shows where every shuckster was selling their wares and potions. (I went because I LOVE to look at the pretty displays of garden layouts). There happened to be a chiropractor booth that was doling out ‘free’ back exams to show if your spine was in proper alignment. The friend I was with took advantage of this ‘freebie’ much to my dismay (plus I was bored).
To make a long story even shorter, the friend was given a coupon for a ‘discounted’ adjustment. Upon calling to make the appointment she was asked whether or not she had insurance. To which she replied ‘no’. The cost was quoted as $150. Thinking this was a ‘bait and switch’ deal, I suggested she call again and tell the person that yes, indeed, she did have insurance. To which the cost was quoted as $375!!!!
You will notice the major discrepancy in price between Insurance vs. non-insured. Rather disturbing I would say.
I had filed this little tidbit of information in the wee corners of my brain until just the other day when my boyfriend received a bill from a billing company representing the imaging service that had recently performed an ultrasound on his leg.
When he originally was referred, he informed his GP that he did not have insurance (that is another article entirely) . . . and would ‘self-pay’ as he does with his GP. The referring physician got him a ‘deal’ wherein he would only be required to pay $120 for the services rendered by the imaging provider. FANTASTIC! Service performed, cash paid (amazingly, but not surprising, medical services of ANY kind are ‘pre-paid’ prior to the services being rendered). Whether or not you are satisfied with the service is of little consequence . . . you pay in full prior, and if you are ‘dissatisfied’, there is no refund or negotiating due to any improper service.
Then comes in the mail this ‘bill’ from the billing company requesting payment of $635 for the imaging company!!!!! Of course, since I deal with such matters with more of an ‘iron hand’ than my sweet, loving boyfriend (he always defers such matters to me because he knows I will use the utmost of tact and ‘no b.s.’) I immediately went into attack mode and called said billing company to politely but succinctly inquire as to why they had the gaul to send a bill after he had already paid in full!
The lady I spoke with informed me that the ‘bill’ had already been ‘paid’ by the imaging company!
The fact of the matter is . . . IF he had ‘insurance’ the ‘bill’ would have been SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS! The ‘insurance’ would have cost around $800 per month, with a deductible of $150 and the ‘insurance’ would have only covered 80% of the bill.
I am no rocket scientist (by far) but by my calculation that would have cost him $301 ‘out-of-pocket’,
This solidifies my stance that insurance is a scam utilized by health care to illicit more funds from unsuspecting consumers. Granted there are instances where one cannot afford to ‘self-pay’ astronomical hospital bills (which in themselves are exorbitantly over inflated (for $800 per night in a hospital one could easily stay at a posh hotel for much less), and an a single Tylenol capsule does NOT cost $2 or $3 . . . But honestly, does anyone besides myself smell RIP-OFF?