Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday Thoughts- You've GOT to ask!

Today I definitely have something for you to think about. It concerns medical costs.

I know there has been a lot of debate and conversation about health care insurance and coverage and rising medical expenses, etc. ad naseum. I cannot stress enough how much you need to take care of things and be proactive in your care, but also in managing your expenses. Here is what really blew my top this past two weeks. . .

Remember last summer when I had that scare with my chest and it turned out to be fibroid cysts? Well, after a visit to my doctor a few weeks ago, he told me now he wants not only a mammogram, but an ultrasound of my chest, just to be sure. Okay. I'll schedule it. I decided to call my insurance first to see how much of it would be covered.


Nothing is covered until I meet my deductible.

And I'm paying HOW MUCH every month for WHAT?!?!?

I thought, being a Dr. ordered mammogram, there would be no question of having it covered. BZZZT! Whammie!

So I start pricing it out, knowing that I would have to pay for it out of pocket. I spent a full DAY on the phone (in the end, I spent THREE days on the phone getting it all sorted out). Here's what I found out:

For a full mammogram at the hospital breast care center it is $450. The ultrasound will cost $1,000.

So who happens to have $1,450 just laying around for medical expenses? Not me, for sure! But what to do, because I have to put this to rest. It's pretty painful every month, so I want to make sure everything is okay in that area. So I called everywhere, even the county health clinic. By this time I was desperate. Long story short, the worker said even if I could qualify (which I can't) she would have to send me to an x-ray place.

Which got me to thinking. . .

So I called the X-ray place directly and here's the quote I got:

If I pay cash, not going through the insurance, my costs for a full mammogram and ultrasound will be:


Yes, your eyes are working just fine. That's a total difference of over $1,200.

Yes, I am absolutely relieved that I will be able to afford it. And completely steamed at the price difference.

When I called the hospital to cancel my appointment, they asked why? When I told the man my story, even HE could not believe it.

Moral: don't blindly accept what they hand you. ASK. QUESTIONS. GET PRICES. Go in with your eyes open. Knowledge is sometimes the most powerful tool and bargaining chip you have.

Yours, now waiting for my appointment in another week,


1 comment:

  1. WOW! What a difference. Just goes to show how much they "add" to cost. Makes me angry too. I currently have 3 adults children who do not have insurance. Scares me too. But none of them currently work where they are provided insurance (two are considered part time (usually getting worked just under 40 hours), one is a nanny - all 3 hoping to find new jobs once things look up around here) but they can't afford to pay for insurance. They are all 3 still living at home cause they can't afford car pymts, rent, etc. Which I don't mind them living at home, but know that at this age (19, 21, 25) that they want to be out on their own. All that to say - good to know about asking questions, checking prices, etc. I've already made this too long, so I won't get on my soap box about insuranaces and prices of medical test/care/etc
    Praying everything goes well when you have your mammogram/ultrasound.