Friday, December 30, 2011

Paying the Doctor

I've been working on getting the medical receipts in order in preparation for taxes.

The total of the insurance claims I've got – which should be most of the claims for the year – are a little over $100,000. The insurance company paid less than half the charges, writing off much of the hospital bill (nearly half the cost) and much of the diagnostic testing. My share was $2500 plus my copays for drugs and doctor visits. And the non-prescription items that I purchased to make like easier.

I realized, looking at the bills, just how lucky how I am to have insurance. If I did not have insurance my indebtedness would not be the $40,000 that the insurance company paid, but the larger $100,000 that the doctors billed. Insurance not only pays the bills, but also negotiates the prices. Those who don't have an insurance company on their side – and I'm looking at several of you my friends – aren't just forced to pay the bills themselves, they're forced to pay the higher bills.

Is that fair? If you don't have enough to pay insurance premiums, where are you going to find the money to pay the full Doctor bills? Your only choice is Medical Bankruptcy. And the individual's inability to pay means that we all have to pay.

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