Friday, January 23, 2015

Health Care NOT gov part 3

After smashing my left elbow to smithereens, I entered the health care system.  The dizzying world of forms, tests, questions, forms, people, forms...

Now I have to say everyone -to a person- was wonderful to work with.  The nature of my injury inspired sympathy and great care.  But there is a lot of waiting.  Waiting and paperwork.

Samaritan's was fantastic during this time.  They promptly told me what to do and got the paper work to me.  After the initial phone menu, I was always directly connected to a real live person and I do not recall being put on hold.

I was instructed to say I was a self-paying patient and to ask for a discount.  This was incredibly empowering.  There was only one instance where I had to ask to speak to a supervisor.  My discounts ranged from 15-50%.  The only thing not discounted was the internal hardware (pins, plates, screws and coral) which cost a daunting $3,771.  Yikes.  And it just looks like a bunch of stuff from our local Ace.

Anyway.  My costs before discounts totaled about $20,000.  With discounts I was able to get it down to about $15,000.

Our insurance companies and Medicare and Medicaid negotiate with our health care system all the time.

And you can too.

If your next medical bill does not reach your deductible?  Tell them you are self-paying, which you are at that point, and ask for their best discount.  Heady stuff.

I am practiced at saving money at the grocery store and aim for about 40% savings.  But in medical costs when you can save 25%,  you are talking some real  money.

We went ahead and paid my bills on our credit card and we will get one percent cash back (what is in your wallet?).  One percent of $15,000 is $150.00.  Also, all my discounts get applied to my $300 deductible so if I understand this correctly all my deductible will be wiped out.

The Samaritan's share checks for my need will start arriving next month and should all be in just in time to pay that credit card bill.

Stay tuned to see if everything works out according to plan.

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