The ridiculous cost of health care

The ridiculous cost of health care

We recently had to sort out some problems with our health insurance. We use a small business co-operative to buy our insurance from one of the major carriers in Massachusetts and one of my priorities since losing full-time work last year has been to ensure that we can make that payment (our largest single bill apart from rent) every month. so you can imagine I was little upset to find out during our Christmas vacation that our claims were being refused. It seems there was some kind of miscommunication between the co-op and the insurer back in October that didn’t get settled until I called them in January. Um yeah, thanks for staying on top of that guys. Glad to know my money’s not being wasted.

Anyway because the insurance had (seemingly) lapsed, the bills were coming to me directly. I nearly had a heart attack. I went to the doctor for some minor issues in November and they ran some blood tests. Nothing exotic, just cholesterol, blood sugar, the standard stuff. The bill just for the lab work was $700! In December we took Isabella for her regular 6-month checkup, which included some boosters and a flu shot. That was $400!

No wonder the health care industry is such a mess. Melanie used to be an office manager for a psychiatric practice in Dallas and she tells me that it’s standard for doctors to overbill. While they had standard contracts with some insurers, for the others they’d bill full rate (which is usually some ridiculous amount) to see what they’d pay. It’s like a used car dealer overcharging for the old junker with the expectation you’ll haggle him down and the hope that you’ll be too naive to do it.

Why turn to employers, gov’t?

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