Saturday, October 16, 2010

Unnecessary Roughness

I hate unexpected bills. Hate, hate, hate, LOATHE unexpected bills. I know, who doesn't? But when I get one of these little puppies in the mail, it just infuriates me! Then I dwell on it for the rest of the day and it's all I can think about it.

I've had a few doozies in my day and they're almost always medical. Like the time I got my ears flushed out and it ended up costing me nearly $300! And my neighbor was the nurse that did it. I could have just went down the street and had her do it at home for free. After that, she gave me my own syringe and pan so I could do it myself. I can't remember what the insurance company's excuse was. It must have been "out of the network" or some stupidity.

Then there was the time I got charged extra because my gynecologist performed some kind of extra procedure during my yearly exam that wasn't deemed "necessary" by the almighty insurance gods. I don't remember how much it was, but it wasn't cheap. And next time, I told her not to do whatever it was she did because I got charged out the you know what.

This time, it had to do with the gynecologist again, in a roundabout way. Because they made such a big deal at work about an annual checkup being fully paid for this year, I decided to get one. I was tired all of the time and my wrist was hurting, so I thought, why not? Let's see what's wrong with me. I also wanted to establish a family doctor. I'd been going to the clinic when I got sick and was tired of not being able to understand what the doctor said half the time. That and just being a number. So I got a physical exam in May. And no, it wasn't completely free. In fact, I just got a bill in OCTOBER from the office visit in MAY for an extra $60 that I now mysteriously owe.

Now let's back up to August. I went for my yearly girl exam and found out new regulations only require pap smears every three years as long as the last few tests were normal. Awesome! I never look forward to that part of the visit anyway. So all she did was the "hands-on" part if you know what I mean. Then a few days ago, I get a bill in the mail for $152! Are you freaking kidding me? She didn't even do the real pap smear.

The first thing I did was make sure my visits were a year apart because the insurance companies can get really picky about that. Yes, my visits were a year and a day apart. Then I emailed customer service to figure out what's wrong, knowing full well I was going to have to pay this bill and all of my efforts are in vain. And I was right. Basically they said I already maxed out my $300 a year limit which must have been eaten up by that physical back in May. If I had known that, plus the no pap smear tidbit, I wouldn't even have went to the gyno this year.

We also had our fall heating/cooling checkup last week. We already paid for it during the spring inspection so no worries there, right? The guy came over, spent about an hour, everything is hunky dorey and he leaves. I didn't turn the air on for a few days because the weather was mild. I went to turn it on Sunday night and there's no cool air coming out of the vent. Just the fan. Great. Grand. Wonderful. The guy came back to check it out Monday and said we need some new part that's going to cost more than $300!!! Again, smack me in the face with a triple digit number that I must pay in a matter of days. Luckily, Pmo and I will split that one down the middle. We're going to eventually have to get a new unit. It's a York and it's old.

I guess I should quit complaining and count my blessings because I've never had any serious medical bills. I've never stayed in the hospital or had surgery. I know plenty of people have it worse than me. Some people can't even pay the bills they know are coming down the pipe. It just sucks. Especially when you're trying to pay off credit cards, a motorcycle, a student loan and get some financial stability. But no. All of sudden the money you were going to put toward one of those payments is wasted on something you never really needed in the first place. Well, I take that back. We do need heat and air. But I really didn't need to pay $150 to get manhandled by the gyno. Or should I say womanhandled?

1 comment:

Talina said...

Oh I hear ya!

I paid 100% out of pocket for Everly's birth, then when I needed stitches after labor it was supposed to be covered. We checked ahead of time jumped though all the hoops and months later a bill for $500 arrives from the hospital the stitched me back up... 9 months later another $500 bill from the doctor that stitched me.

Apparently the hospital charges a straight $500 copay and then the doctor gets paid on top of that or something. The thing is they billed our insurance $2000 for the ordeal in addition to what they were billing us...

Needless to say some of those bills are still unpaid because where do they expect that money to come from?