Thursday, March 01, 2007

My Latest Doctor's Bill

So, I cashed out my 401(K) so I could pay $360 a month for "catastrophic" health insurance, which means they don't pay anything toward any of my medical costs until after I pay $2500 out of pocket. No co-pays, no 50% and certainly no 80% of anything, until I cough $2500 out of my ass this year.

For $1615, I have this dubious form of health insurance through the end of March, which might be real useful if I, like, get hit by a car (knock on wood). Otherwise, basically, I just blew $1615 and gave the government a nice chunk of my retirement savings in the form of taxes.

And I just got my doctor's bill for my January appointment:

Office visit: $90
Comp Metabolic Profile: $50
Hemoglobin A1C: $50
BC/RP DF (no idea what this is): $20

THEN I got the medical bill from the actual LAB that does the work:

Hemoglobin, Glycosylated: $45.50
Comprehen Metabolic Panel: $50

So where am I supposed to get this "extra" $305 when I make $1999 a month and my bills are $1900 a month?

I seriously considered not going to the doctor again until I have health insurance (I mean, REAL insurance), and then I realized that the medical system has insured that I can't do that: I *have to pay someone* to give me my insulin prescriptions.

I have to pay them not only for my meds, but for the privilege of getting the meds that keep me alive.

God bless America.

5 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

David said...

http://www.communityhealth.org/ ?

(Of course the website is mostly about how you can volunteer or donate money and not about how you can actually, you know, see a doctor.)

Bint Alshamsa said...

Yeah, the bastards have me in the same basic situation. For me, it's either stay single or die because I won't have the healthcare I need for my cancer and Lupus. I had to cancel my wedding indefinitely because of the stupid income limitations associated with Medicaid/Medicare eligibility. They (the government) say my fiance's income would render me ineligible for aid if we got married. However, he doesn't make enough to pay for my monthly care even if he turned over his entire paycheck to my oncologists. So we're basically stuck in limbo until someone finds the cure for cancer or one of us hits the lottery and can afford to pay for my healthcare needs out of pocket.

My heart goes out to you, sweetie. Hang in there! We're all just doing the best we can in this totally screwed up system.

Gwenda said...

I have no idea how the PH system works there, but there's a chance you could see some at the public health dept. and -- at least -- get to pay on a sliding scale. You might have to hang out at an open clinic for awhile, but all these clinics will have a limited staff of docs, and they're used to working with people w chronic conditions and no insurance so you might luck into someone who is willing to act essentially as a primary care provider even in a clinic situation.

Carrie said...

that sucks. im struggling to control my diabetes even with great health insurance. our healthcare system is so fucked up. i would say you could go to county clinics, they see people regardless of ability to pay, but oops, last month, todd stroger and his cronies decided to dismantle further the already overburdened system.

if you can afford your meds right now but not the doctor, the clinic david posted, community health (www.communityhealth.org), is completely free to see a doctor. i have never been there so i don't know how it is. near north health service corp (http://www.nearnorthhealth.org/sites.html) has a sliding scale based on income, it might still be a lot of $$ but maybe less? they probably aren't the best options out there for intensive management of type 1, but if you just need someone to write your prescription for a few months they'd work. or maybe they would have ideas for a more affordable diabetes doctor to refer you to.

-carrie
(the fellow diabetic chicagoan)

Kameron Hurley said...

My diabetes is actually under control, so my doctor's visits consist of him saying "Your blood pressure is good. Your numbers are good. You're not having any problems? Well, you should lose weight."

And then they take my blood and send me a bill for $210.

I'll check out some of these health sites.