I hate doctors...and I hate the bureaucracy involved in medical payments, and insurance, and all the crap that goes along with it.
If anyone has ever been in the hospital, you can relate to my rant...especially if you had no insurance.
For those who have not known me very long or dont know me, I was involved in a tremendous accident on Sept 24, 2004 on the way home from work. I got my van spun out backwards, airborne, barrel rolled mid air and hit two trees while midair, bending the van in half, and in the process knocking me out, busting my head and face open, slicing my arm open, breaking 2 vertebrae in my neck and causing nerve damage that made my right arm practically useless. To say I have come a long way since then is an understatement... I am aware of how lucky I was and how amazing my recovery was, but that is the subject of another blog another day.
Now...I am bitching about the handling of the paying of the bills.
I had car insurance and a very minor health insurance policy. These did not make much of a dent in the bill at all. I am finding myself alone responsible for the balance. If you are very poor or very rich, you are better off than being very middle class, which is what I am. I earn too much to cry hardship, and I am not rich enough to say "it's only money". (we are talking about a lot of money...more than I paid for my house.)
It would have been easy to declare bankruptcy or have my lawyer discharge them in other ways, but I am taking the high road and taking responsibility for my debt. This decision is one I will come to regret.
Another issue is how we are billed. I went to one hospital and I get separate bills from each person who touched me. Would it not make sense to put all these bills under one umbrella to make it easier to get paid? That would make too much sense so it will never happen.
What would happen if you ordered a pizza, and got a bill from the box company, the drivers insurance company, the driver, the pepperoni company, the cheese company etc... all seperately? This is what medical billing is like.
Anyway...skipping over a lot of technical mumbo jumbo, I have been speaking to a rep at the hospital in regard to getting this straightened out and after determining all my other avenues were exhausted, started looking for ways to pay this debt.
They were unwilling to dicker to a lower price for a cash settlement...they said if any insurance money had been received that they would not adjust the price. That is because they do more business with the insurance companies than they do with the patients, so it is not in their interest to kiss a patients ass. It isnt like you make a conscious decision on what hospital to go to in an emergency, so customer service is not necessary.
So, to make a long story short, I pull an equity line on my house...redo my mortgage and this month made arrangements to have them paid in full. The checks already have gone out.
This stressed me out, because I cant wait to see the statement next month for my new mortgage payment. But, I felt good about doing the right thing and having the albatross around my neck laying on the ground behind me. I also protected my assets, credit and all that...
I felt good until this morning when the Sheriff left after leaving me a summons where they have already initiated a lawsuit against me. This tweaks my knobs because I have been constantly in contact with the same useless person who has been saying everything is cool...and he has not said a word about turning me over to attorneys, etc... I stuck to my word and did what I said I would do. At least if he would have threatened me or gave me a heads up this was coming I would have been prepared.
No brainer, If this goes to court I will win...and I will not be paying any court fees or anything like that...I did my part, but the dicking keeps coming, doesnt it?
What have I learned?
Be insured. Consult attorneys and listen to them. F**k hospital bureaucracy. Keep records.