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Vent: Surprise bill from OB office


Forum: May 2012 Playroom

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  #1  
February 20th, 2012, 02:59 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Illinois
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My husband's company is really small and only offers one health insurance provider, so when they switched in January I was forced to switch insurances and stop going to my midwife since they don't take the new insurance. I decided to go with the OB that is associated with the midwife's office since I was too stressed out by being forced to change to want to do much research. The new office is fine, and they have weekend and evening hours- so I guess it's working out as well as it could. Still, this past week I got a surprise bill in the mail. I knew that the new insurance sucked, but I didn't realize that they were going to charge me a $55 copay... I was told by the OB office that I owed $25 (which I paid at my first appointment there). So I now have a surprise $30 bill. I called an talked to the insurance company and apparently an OB is a "Specialist", hence the big copay.

I'm angry about this because 1) I'm still mad about being forced to change insurance companies and providers 2) What's with surprise bills??? Can't doctors' offices and insurance companies communicate properly so that the right copay is charged at the time of service?! Complicating the whole matter, I just started a government job and I already signed up for their insurance, so I'm going to be on my third insurance plan during this pregnancy (Actually going back to the insurance company that we had before so I might be able to switch back to the midwife). That might result in yet another copay-- but I'll be glad to be rid of my current insurance company.

Okay, that was my vent. Anyone else hate the US health insurance system, copays, surprise bills, or being forced to switch providers?
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  #2  
February 20th, 2012, 03:06 PM
Jennmarie's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I work for the state of Georgia, and our insurance has gone up crazy amounts in the last 4 years..higher copays, higher premiums, less coverage. And no raises to cover it. I am on a HRA and I swear it barely even pays to have insurance with it. It seems like we might as well pay out of pocket and skip the insurance, most of the time. The only upside is I don't have copays until the allowance they give us runs out. And this year, its just me on the allowance, so its gone ok so far. But yeah...I hate insurance. W/ a passion.
ETA-and no, they don't communicate before hand; because then you don't get stuck paying bills you didn't expect/can't afford. If they communicated, people would be able to decline tests/appointments/procedures until things can be properly planned....this way they just get to stick you with the bill.
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  #3  
February 20th, 2012, 03:59 PM
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Sorry for the bill

We have great coverage through DH's work, but we have to go to the Kaiser hospitals and use their providers, which I hate sometimes. At least things are covered 100% in most cases. I think we've only had to pay a copay once or twice (physicals, prenatals, well child visits, etc are all totally paid for, as is labor/delivery, etc). And the copay is just $5.
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  #4  
February 21st, 2012, 04:42 AM
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I really thought that the new federal requirements forced companies to pay for prenatal care with no copay. ???
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  #5  
February 21st, 2012, 06:03 AM
BeccaMenk's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Well, if it makes you feel any better...we got hit with a $1000 bill on my last appointment that has to be payed by week 34! The lady at the office was like ' You have to pay $300 by five o clock today". No warning! Apparently we have to pay all our bills in a big chunk ahead of time, including our deductible, and than get back whatever is extra after the baby is born.What I don't get is that we are paying our deductible and 20 percent co pay with that money...so does it really cost $3000 just for the doctors part of pregnancy and labor????? That is not including the hospital! Outrageous!

I mean It stinks and I was so upset because that is not money we just have laying around to loan to the doctor until after the birth! Thankfully we can manage to swing it thanks to refunds...but I had other plans for that money...no more...sigh. Anyway, not to take away from your vent but it reminded me of that.
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  #6  
February 21st, 2012, 06:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennmarie View Post
I work for the state of Georgia, and our insurance has gone up crazy amounts in the last 4 years..higher copays, higher premiums, less coverage. And no raises to cover it. I am on a HRA and I swear it barely even pays to have insurance with it. It seems like we might as well pay out of pocket and skip the insurance, most of the time. The only upside is I don't have copays until the allowance they give us runs out. And this year, its just me on the allowance, so its gone ok so far. But yeah...I hate insurance. W/ a passion.
I work for the state of Missouri- and same thing. Insurance has gone up in premiums, and down in coverage. We haven't seen a raise in over 4 years. This year they even destroyed the low deductible plan by sticking co-pays on it that do not go towards your deductible. I'm pretty sure (my OB doesn't bill me till after the insurace pays, and then only when it's significant- so I don't get bills for $3.) I have already hit my $600 deductible for the year.
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  #7  
February 21st, 2012, 07:34 AM
disneydiva76's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Who do you have for insurance with your new job? Hubby has a federal gov job and his insurance is AWESOME. Mind you we pay alot in, $600 a month for a family. But I pay ZeRO co pay for OB care, ZERO to the hospital, Anestisia or any dr when delivering too.

Hope your new insurance is better and gives you some relief.
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  #8  
February 21st, 2012, 07:40 AM
lunarmagic's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Ugh. I'm a Canadian (free healthcare) who moved to the US 5 years ago... I still can't get over how crazy the bills are down here! I'm lucky to have really good insurance, but it STUNS me what some people have to pay for their prenatal care and labor and delivery. That's just not right to me! And yes, even our insurance keeps going up in cost significantly.
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  #9  
February 21st, 2012, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imdawn View Post
I really thought that the new federal requirements forced companies to pay for prenatal care with no copay. ???
I *think* that the reform law stated that only applied to new health care plans started after the law was passed. Plans that were started prior to that can still charge copays, etc, unless they make a major change to the benefits. Then, they have to follow the rules for the new health care plans. Plus, many of the health care reform rules don't have to take effect for until 2013 and 2014 (provided they still pass legislation by then).
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