Tuesday, January 31, 2012

$8,000 in Medical Bills--And that's With Insurance Coverage

Last week I finally got around to dealing with the bills from my breast cancer surgery.  My surgery was in October, and the bills started appearing in my mailbox in late November.  Because I was in the middle of, you know, radiation and all the other crap you have to deal with when you have cancer, I pulled a Scarlett O'Hara and threw the bills in a pile to deal with another day.

Well the day to deal with that pile came last week.    I opened the bills and did some cross-research on my insurance company's web-site.

I owe $8,000.    That's $8,000 that the insurance company isn't paying.    The hospital alone charged $35,000 and my breast surgeon $26,000.    There were also miscelanous bills for other specialists, services etc.  

I didn't bother to total up the entire cost of the surgery, just the part I owed.

I never stayed overnight in the hospital, and there were no complications with my surgery.   So how, in God's name, is it that despite paying close to $800 a month in insurance premiums (with my husband's employer also paying more than that monthly) is it that I now owe $8,000?????

And, how, in God's name, could many families take that kind of a financial hit?   

Now, I expected my share of the ordeal to run in the $3,000-$4,000 range, so needless to say that I was shocked to see I owed more than double that amount. 

Did I mention that once again my husband's raise was completely wiped out by the increase in our insurance premiums???

I'm sorry, but the American system of health care is just deplorable.   I am so sick of people saying that it's "the best in the world" when statistics show that it's not, and families put into financial straights just because someone gets sick.


  1. The US is the only country in the developed world where people become bancrupt and actually die because of the health care system.

    The hate aimed towards government being involved in health care as opposed to a corporation who employ a dept that works on commission to deny claims just amazes me.

    Want to kill an idea in the US? just label it socialism and say the government is going to take away your money and give it to the lazy fat drug taking unhealthy alcoholics.

  2. I had surgery in June 11 then they had to 'go in' again in November. I just had payment plans starting to be arranged for the June surgery then Novembers bills started to appear in my mailbox.

    We pay about $900 per month for insurance, so we are now paying for that --and-- medical bills times two. I know just how you feel. I sure hope I stay healthy this year so I can keep making payments.

    Fortunately, the surgeons, hospital and anesthesiologists (all THREE of them!) are willing to work with us on a reasonable payment plan. They either get it bit by bit or...

    I agree with you. Preach it, sister!

    1. Ugh. I HATE insurance. HATE. Have a kid with special needs and it sucks ass.

      Though we live in a state that has the Autism mandate my husband insurance is a self funded policy and they don't have to abide by it. Which we found out after we maxed out of therapies half way through last year. A global corporation that's prime market is females from age of 1-18 and they don't give their employee's the extra coverage.

      I'm sorry but yes our insurance no matter which way you look at it is messed up!

  3. Oh my god!! I just came accross this blog, from diary of an even fatter girl, and I CANT BELIEVE THE COST OF YOUR BILLS!! That just seems insane!! I live in Ireland, where we have private health insurance and a public system for people who have ZERO. I also feel for you, because my mum is currently going through her chemo therapy for her breast surgery. But we have a good system here called breastcheck.ie which allows all women over a certain age to get free screenings, and then to get their surgery's free of charge, because its not something that is really preventative.

    Oh my god, I feel for you, this is really the last thing that you need right now, and its absolutely deplorable that the costs are so high, and that there is a outlay of 8000 on your part!! Damn right, a lot of families couldnt take that hit!!

    Thank you for making me appreciate the system here - as you may have heard, ireland's the worst hit in western europe in the recession, and the unemployment is now at nearly 15% - so obviously people complain all the time - but this has opened my eyes, that not everything is as sh*t as it seems!!

    I hope at the very least get a reasonable payment plan, and i wish you all the best in your recovery.

  4. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Thanks!


  5. Wow. I live in Canada and last year I had my Gall Bladder removed. I had my doctor check me, then went to another for an ultrasound, then waited about 1 month and entered the hospital, went under the knife, had my gall bladder removed, stayed overnight. A week later I had a follow up with a specialist to check me over. When that was done, they said. Well, you look good and off you go. No bill, no insurance, no monthly fees, no charge (and it had nothing to do with income - we all get that here)! I can't imagine what it must be like to pay for health.