Monday, July 30, 2012

Seniors Beware of Balance Billing

A few weeks ago, I decided to take advantage of some of the preventive care allowed under Medicare because of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacares).

During my initial visit, the Doctor recommended I have a colonoscopy and talked me into it. Here's what Medicare covers:

"Screening Colonoscopy: Generally once every 120 months (once every 24 months if you're at high risk), or 48 months after a previous flexible sigmoidoscopy."

I went to the specialist and took the necessary preparations, reported to the hospital, and underwent the procedure.

About a week later, I received a bill from the anasthesiologist for $810 which I certainly didn't expect. I phoned my Doctor and said that I had expected Medicare to cover this procedure because of the Affordable Care Act. She said she would look into it and call me back. She did call back in a couple hours and told me all had been taken care of. I asked her why this happened and she said that the hospital evidently forgot to provide the Anthesiologist with my Insurance information.

I'm not sure, but I think the term used for this type "error" is called balance billing.

The reason I'm writing about this experience is simply to advise seniors to know what the cost of any preventive service will be including deductibles etc, and to make darned sure you're not ripped off by  some crooked medical outfit.

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