Dealing with Medical Bills

29 09 2007

There’s a whole side story to my never-ending dealings with my health insurance company and medical billing departments.  I want to see Michael Moore’s “Sicko”, but I think it’ll be too upsetting given my circumstances.  I’ve always been politically active and even got arrested in college for protesting, but it would depress me too much to watch it.

I’m sure I need to fill you in on the agony of all of these aspects of a chronic illness.  I just can’t be bothered to do it now.

The main goal with the bills is getting the monthly rate you pay on big bills to go as low as possible.  Let’s face it, in these situations you’re going to be paying some hospital or doctor for the rest of your life.  I try to get them down to $35 a month.  This isn’t because I’m cheap or cheating them.  It’s because there isn’t anymore where it came from.  The biggest hurdle is getting them to approve it.  It’s their jobs to be bothered about billing.  Don’t feel guilty about it.

Each day I have to call some hospital billing company.   The absolute frustration I deal with on these bills and bureaucratic paper pushers are so infuriating.   For example, right now I owe my pain management doctor’s office about $85,000.  I owe another $8,000 in assorted bills (about 15 of them).  It’s insanity.   The pain doc’s bill lady won’t give me revised bill with his discounts and amount I’ve paid.  She says that doesn’t go out until the total amount has been paid.
OK!  When am I going to have $85,000 for a doctor’s bill?  Also, why
Is it such a big deal to make an itemized bill?

Also, a lot of my surgeries are/have been/are being considered experimental (such as the spinal stimulator).   I mean, how does something become an approved procedure?  I have lots of tips but always looking for new ones so I can retain some sanity through this without losing too much work time.

More on this as it happens.  ….sasha

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