Jump to content

Please consider disabling your adblocker for CreditBoards if you have not already done so.  This site depends on advertising revenue to stay online.


Sign in to follow this  

Why there is so much medical debt out there.

Recommended Posts

My apologies, as this is more a rant than advice or questions, but I feel it is relevant.

I have been fortunate in that I have been healthy my entire life, never needed any real medical attention. I have insurance through my work and we had been assured by the insurance rep who visits us once a year that we had “one of the best plans available” and how lucky we were to have a company willing to pay for plan that takes such good care of us. I never really scrutinized it that close (I’m not sure how you can actually) but I knew that my maximum yearly out of pocket was $4500 which seemed reasonable enough. Then it happened I’m in an accident, nothing life threatening but I have a broken clavicle, broken ribs and a punctured lung, I live in a medium sized town with one hospital only, of course I am taken to that hospital. From a medical standpoint I felt I was taken care of, I was in the hospital for 4 days, needed surgery to reconstruct my clavicle, all routine stuff, had a few months of PT and follow up, pretty much fully recovered.  But I had no idea the nightmare that was about to begin. although the hospital itself is “in network” virtually nothing else is, the emergency room is actually a separate entity from the hospital itself, out of network, the emergency room technicians, out of network, the anesthesiologist, out of network, the surgeon, out of network, X ray services, X ray technicians on and on down to the occupational therapy team, a team of 2 who did nothing more than tell me I needed to get up and sit in a chair and charged $2000, none of this is covered or covered at a much reduced rate. The next several months was spent fielding phone calls, medical bills, fighting endlessly with the insurance company, they eventually agreed to cover some of the out of network bills, but I still ended up paying much more than the $4500 max I had expected. To me this is nothing but a ploy by greedy insurance companies to shirk their responsibility, pass on expense to consumers who already facing serious medical issues and in no position to be writing check after check. My injuries were about as routine as they come, the typical thing that can be expected in an automobile accident, when you are in the emergency room you really aren’t capable of shopping around to ensure all your services are in fact “in network” and like I mentioned there is only one hospital, where else can you go?

At this moment, one and a half years later one of those out of network bills that I thought had been paid has just shown up as a collection, I know I will now be wasting more hours of my time dealing with that. Anyway, the point to all this, it’s small wonder so many of us are buried in medical debt, we are under the impression that our insurance is there to take care of us when in fact that is far from the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 12/7/2019 at 2:29 PM, riverside said:

My apologies, as this is more a rant than advice or questions, but I feel it is relevant.

 

care to answer my question? TIA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My injuries were about as routine as they come, the typical thing that can be expected in an automobile accident, when you are in the emergency room you really aren’t capable of shopping around to ensure all your services are in fact “in network” and like I mentioned there is only one hospital, where else can you go?

 

I wouldn't call a punctured lung or even the broken ribs/clavicle a 'typical thing' to be expected in an accident.  MOST accidents are walk-aways with most of the medical payouts being for soft-tissue claims that cannot be proven nor disproven. 

 

I am with Hege in wondering why the auto pay-out did not cover the bills?  Hopefully you did not settle a claim while there were still outstanding medical issues lurking in the shadows...

 

Further, if the other carrier is slow-bucking, then YOUR carrier should be stepping up and then subrogating the claim...

 

When I got hit from behind by a government vehicle a few years back, my expenses went on AMEX and then I got paid.  However, my carrier was willing to step up if I had wanted them to deal with the billing.  It was through this incident that I realized just how much of a discount is actually available when one is a cash patient and NOT having them submit to insurance.  I was not transported from the scene but did have $20K or so that I was paying out of pocket between therapy and MRI's, with the tab still running through quarterly trips to my specialist.  However, my settlement more than covers those expenses.  Nothing ever reported to a bureau.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/7/2019 at 3:37 PM, hegemony said:

Why isn't the auto coverage liable for the accident covering the charges?

Because I didn't have personal injury on my auto.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, centex said:

 

 

 

I wouldn't call a punctured lung or even the broken ribs/clavicle a 'typical thing' to be expected in an accident.  MOST accidents are walk-aways with most of the medical payouts being for soft-tissue claims that cannot be proven nor disproven. 

 

It's actually extremely common, seat belts save lives but they tend to break ribs and collarbones.  But that is hardly my point, what I have an issue with is this whole game the insurer and or hospital are playing with this in network, out of network business.  Is it unreasonable to expect that if you are admitted to a hospital in your network, basic services such as X rays should be in network as well?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

is it unreasonable to expect that if you are admitted to a hospital in your network, basic services such as X rays should be in network as well?

Yes.  You need to check the costs associated with in-network vs outside-network services.   Like you I learned the very hard way.  I am still "gun-shy" of insurance companies and medical service providers.    I realize you can not check costs while in an ambulance being transported.  I realize this is a consumer friendly site, and I do not mean to come across as harsh and I understand your rant.    We would stand ready to assist you in this forum if you find yourself needing assistance in handling medical debt if you are receiving collection notices or have credit reporting problems associated with medical debt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, riverside said:

Because I didn't have personal injury on my auto.

Were you at fault?  If not, then PIP on your policy is a moot point.  Your carrier should STILL go to bat against the other carrier.  If you have no other derogatory items on your report, then the current medical collection can be added in as exemplary damages for which you should be seeking (just as you would seek something like diminution of value for the damage to your vehicle).  

 

And, I would HIGHLY recommend adding things like UM/PIP to your policy....it is a nominal cost.  PIP on my policy added $54 to the annual premium.  UM adds $269.  If you have a GOOD carrier, you need not have full coverage to add the nominal pieces.  In other words, you could be liability only but still add PIP or UM. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/10/2019 at 7:28 AM, centex said:

Were you at fault?  If not, then PIP on your policy is a moot point.  Your carrier should STILL go to bat against the other carrier.  If you have no other derogatory items on your report, then the current medical collection can be added in as exemplary damages for which you should be seeking (just as you would seek something like diminution of value for the damage to your vehicle).  

 

And, I would HIGHLY recommend adding things like UM/PIP to your policy....it is a nominal cost.  PIP on my policy added $54 to the annual premium.  UM adds $269.  If you have a GOOD carrier, you need not have full coverage to add the nominal pieces.  In other words, you could be liability only but still add PIP or UM. 

Yes, it was my fault,  there was no other carrier, there was no other vehicle, my car hydroplaned on a wet section of freeway, went off the road and hit a concrete drain but again, I'm just using my accident as an example, I could of fallen of a roof, had a mishap with a power tool, etc, etc.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/10/2019 at 6:15 AM, MarvBear said:

 I understand your rant.    

Thank you.

 

On 12/10/2019 at 6:15 AM, MarvBear said:

We would stand ready to assist you in this forum if you find yourself needing assistance in handling medical debt if you are receiving collection notices or have credit reporting problems associated with medical debt.

I may indeed, in a new thread of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  




About Us

Since 2003, creditboards.com has helped thousands of people repair their credit, force abusive collection agents to follow the law, ensure proper reporting by credit reporting agencies, and provided financial education to help avoid the pitfalls that can lead to negative tradelines.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Guidelines