Friday, April 15, 2016

Doctors Bills and thinking you're out of the woods

Last year wasn't a great year for doctor's bills for us. To top it off, we choose to have my tonsils taken out just before the end of the year.
After last year we changed insurances. A number of our doctors were no longer on the plan and that was our number one consideration. I have had a horrible time trying to find a new pediatrician (our last one retired), and for where we live there was only one option left on our insurance and I was not okay with that option. Picking an insurance is hard. Luckily we have lots of options through my husband's employer. However, there is no way to see what option is truly the best option for your pocketbook. One of the frustrations under the last insurance was that going to the doctor was cheap, but they hardly covered anything if you had to go to the hospital. Unless you were actually having a baby, then they covered just about everything. But if you have a D&C because the pregnancy miscarried, it covered almost nothing- which for a grieving mother is not what you want to deal with, the financial costs cause my depression to get worse. One of the things we looked for with our new insurance, was a reasonable hospital trips. We have a $500 copay period now with hospital visits. We have a much high doctor copay but it is a trade off.

I digress from my purpose.

A three weeks ago, right after baths, my daughter comes and tells me that her leg hurts. I look and just below her bum on her right right leg is what looks like a small pimple. She is only 4, I have never seen a pimple on a child that young, nor one on the leg. It had a tiny head on it so I grabbed some supplies and gave it a squeeze. A fair amount of stuff, mostly clear, a little white thing, and then blood. Cleaned it up and put a FROZEN bandage on it and off to bed.
The next evening I mentioned it to my husband and we took a look at it, this time it was the size of a dime and had a pussy head. Again we cleaned it out. My husband, with all his BSA instructor first aid certification, said it looked like a spider bite, and since we have poisonous spiders here, we called the doctor when the office opened.
The doctor took one look at it and said it looked like "community MRSA".  We had to continue to clean it, and bathe her nightly. After bathing we were instructed to clean it with a dab of bleach before bandaging it.
The appointment co-pay was $35 and her prescription was about $2.50- all in all not bad. It cleared up super fast. I was thinking the other day at how blessed we were. This could have turned into something super bad for her and our pocketbook. Yet we caught it in time, we took care of it, and it cleared up with minimal effect. Then our new insurance sent a statement of payment, it was to the lab they sent the sample of fluid to. They said it was to verify it was "community MRSA" and not full on MRSA. The statement from the insurance said they paid $79 and that we owe the provider (hospital lab) $278. WHAT!!!! Just when I though we were getting out of the woods of medical bills from last year. We are *almost* done paying off my hospital bills from surgery. Now this. Granted it is not the bill, not yet.  It makes me so mad. In addition the tests came back inconclusive so we are going to be charged all the money for no results. Yes I am grateful for the previous things mentioned. It could have turned into something so worse.

On another note. I have since learned that the pediatrician I have started taking the kids to only uses the hospital lab. If we were going to the old office, they would have sent it to a different lab and the cost of the lab would have been a lot less. 

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