I’m not paying my medical bills anymore
I came across a very interesting article urging me not to pay my medical bills today.
As health-care costs continue to soar, millions of confused consumers are paying medical bills they don’t actually owe. Typically this occurs when an insurance plan covers less than what a doctor, hospital, or lab service wants to be paid. The health-care provider demands the balance from the patient. Uncertain and fearing the calls of a debt collector, the patient pays up.
Most consumers don’t realize it, but this common practice, known as balance billing, often is illegal. When doctors or hospitals think an insurer has reimbursed too little, state and federal laws generally bar the medical providers from pressuring patients to pay the difference. Instead, doctors and hospitals should be wrangling directly with insurers. Economists and patient advocates estimate that consumers pay $1 billion or more a year for which they’re not responsible.
In this world where consumers and citizens are constantly urged not to take responsibility for their own lives, I find this to be an interesting conundrum.
If my insurance agency is acting as my agent, then why should I be paying the bills or spending little pieces of my life arguing about the amounts? That seems pretty logical. On the other hand, I have an obligation to pay for services rendered. Yet the provider did not spend any time explaining what the cost of the services being rendered would be.
I received a bill for eight dollars for dental services the other day showing that my insurance company did not pay and explaining that I owed the difference. I think I’ll just forward it to my insurance company – they spend all their time making me prove that I was actually treated for whatever I saw the doctor for – they’ve wasted hours of my time rejecting claims that were clearly valid. Now it’s their turn to respond to my demands.
In a world where customer service often seems to be the last thing on people’s minds, I’m going to demand more from those I do business with.