HOW THE FREE MARKET HEALTHCARE SYSTEM WORKS IN THE U.S.
This is worth talking about if you’re one to ever use the United States Healthcare System.
Couple years ago I had a flank pain, and my Physician suspected a kidney stone. Because I work and make just over the amount to remove any possible subsidy, my insurance cost at the time was about $535/month with a $5500 out of pocket deductible.
It’s much higher now, but that’s a different story.
The physician referred me to the local “Corporate” hospital for a CT scan. I needed both a regular scan and a contrast scan. I inquired how much it would cost. They said it would be about $5500 and I would have to pay $2500 up front. I had a CT scan the prior year, and I believe my insurance paid about $750. “Are you nuts?” I asked. I had insurance, and it needed to be billed through my insurance before I paid anything. They wouldn’t do that, and said if I wanted a CT scan I would have to pay the $2500 up front. I explained to them that they were running a rip-off joint, and to go pound sand, except I used an expletive like “Fuck you, if you think I’m going to pay you $2500 up front for a procedure that should be about $800.
I then proceeded to SHOP around. And found a Physician owned Radiology clinic in a nearby town. I phoned them, and they looked up rates and said that generally, my insurance had been paying around $450 for the regular CT scan, and $550 for the contrast scan. I asked if I needed to pay up front. They said, no, they would bill my insurance because that’s what would set the exact rate. “OK, I’ll be right down,” I said.
I drove down, gave my insurance information, and they took the first lower cost scan. The radiologist then came into the room and said. “I don’t even need to do the contrast scan because I can see the Kidney Stone on the first one, so if you want, I can save you some money.”
“Great, Please save me some money,” I answered.
Then I packed up and was on my way to have my newly diagnosed kidney stone treated. A couple months later, I got a bill for about $450 from my insurance. I paid it, since it was part of my deductible.
To summarize. Walking into a corporate hospital in the United States is like bending over. I suggest not pulling your pants down for them because you’ll get it right up the ass. Furthermore, if you do go to a hospital, I suggest only doing so when you’re unconscious on a stretcher.
SHOP AROUND, the healthcare system is currently a free for all and you’re liable to get ripped off.