Friday, October 14, 2011

Where's It All Go?

My medical plan is an 80/20 type thing with $1,000 deductible and an $8,000 out of pocket maximum.

As it stands currently, I have outstanding bills of $6,000 for the calender year in which nothing has been done... yet.
You got that? Nothing.
How the hell does Nothing cost over $7,000?
And I am near my $8,000 maximum.

Soon, I expect to have this damned surgery they keep promising me. I know it will cost, but it's nice knowing that I've nearly hit my 'out of pocket' and therefore, this whole rest of the thing is 'on them', so to speak.
I think I'll request the golden bedpan and lot's of $50 aspirins.

The medical industrial complex in this country is fucked beyond comprehension. I don't know what the answer is, but I sure do have a lot of confusing questions.


Mr. D said...

They charge what they can get by with. And confusion funds a lot of livelihoods.

JoAnna said...

If nothing has been done, than surely you can pay the bills with imaginary money. :)

Gino said...

MR D: no shit there, huh?

JoAnna: thats an idea.
although i am gonna challenge the latest bill for $250. i had a pre-op visit in july. since surgery is constantly postponed, they had me come back in to refresh my signatures three weeks ago... and billed me for it!

Bike Bubba said...

One thing I've noticed is that my insurance company--think the "flag of Finland" with the colors inverted and you'll figure it out--is processing all of my bills on a net 60 basis (they pay two months after getting the bill) and then I get the bill. So that may be why you've got a bunch of stuff that simply isn't appearing to come through.

And for what it's worth, the benefit of all this delay is that it costs your medical provider another $100 to provide your care (carrying the credit), which they then bill to your insurer, who thinks they're saving the same amount.

Actually, it's worse, because it takes more accounting time to play games like this.

Brian said...

Yeah, health care is a mess and anyone who tells you that they know exactly how to fix it is either lying or deluded.

It seems to me that the two most efficient ways to pay for this stuff are (in no particular order): 1) direct payment for service, and 2) single-payer. In other words, the extreme opposite ends of the spectrum. I'm inclined to believe that market discipline would do more to control prices in the former than in the latter; I also think that implementing it in a pure form is politically impossible.

The problem with single-payer is of course that if you artificially limit the price, you constrict the supply. This is neither trivial, nor as big of a problem in the countries that have it as some would have you believe.

Everything else in between (i.e., anything that involves a third party payer) adds layers of bureaucracy, and the associated personnel and administrative costs that go with it. Which is of course what we have.