Thursday, March 12, 2009

Medical Bills

Most people experience the trip to the doctor, then to the hospital or specialist, sooner or later. Getting old brings on this burden along with many others. Even with insurance, the bills can eat you alive. 20% does not seem like much at the beginning but go to a few specialist in a row and pretty soon that 20% becomes a mounting debt. So after spending the next few years paying for what the insurance companies decided was not their responsibility, one could reach the decision to just let the ol' body rot away rather than give up everything just to pay medical bills. It is not that people do not want to pay their bills. It is the prices. Those gold plated cotton swabs can really set you back. I don't know what will happen with health care. In one of my courses on criminology the health care field was discussed under white collar crime because of the way their coding system worked. For example, if some service was performed, the service would be split into several codes so that they could be billed separately and cumulatively, charge more than they could as one service. I know of one time when a shot was give without insurance, when insurance was presented the cost of the shot doubled. They do that because they know insurance will not pay the full amount, so by doubling it, they get the original amount even if the patient does not pay the left over part. There is a backlash to all this. The health care industry is suppose to be in the business of making people better but with all the clutter of bills, past dues and threats from collectors, the end result is a more stressful life than if the patient had never gone in the first place. The doctors, nurses and hospitals do not see this followup harrassment. They let others do that dirty work. They really should consider it into the health care and handle it differently. After all, how can a person on retirement pay a person who makes goobs of money for their time. The math just does not work out. Well, 'cuse me, I may need to go take a pill.

Link to Alambama note

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