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Thread: Healthcare billing crap on the government dole

  1. #11
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    Iris Lilies,

    It saddens me to hear that the billing around your mammogram is causing you anxiety.

    I have been a Medicare client for a few years, and I have had my share of surprise billings as well.

    I learned that I have to adopt a new attitude to bills from health care providers. All my life I believed that I should strive to pay every bill the same day I received it. "Cash on the barrel-head". In the indoctrination by my WASP parents, I was bred to the bone to owe no one anything after payday.

    Since I have been on Medicare, on medical billings I have learned to let them ripen a bit. And I question the "coding", if that may been the reason Medicare does not cover the procedure. Apart from one costly failure on a shingles vaccination, I have generally been successful .

  2. #12
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dado potato View Post
    Apart from one costly failure on a shingles vaccination, I have generally been successful .
    Yes, Medicare does not cover the shingles vaccine.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  3. #13
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    I suppose in the end it is all about how something gets coded. I thought preventative screenings were paid for by Medicare but perhaps this was diagnostic instead. I had three medical visits after starting Medicare a year ago and have never received any bill.One was for a MRI with contrast which would have been expensive. Maybe my supplemental work insurance paid the difference? I have a friend who recently went in for a routine mammogram (she is in her early 70s). They found a tiny "malignant" dot and immediately scheduled her for surgery and radiation. She was told it was most likely very slow growing but she opted to have the slash and burn done anyway.

  4. #14
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    That is interesting pinky toe that there’s a difference between diagnostic mammogram and preventative mammogram. See this is where I am a naÔve rube, I have no idea about this stuff. But this mammogram event also included an ultrasound which apparently is really the charge I need to pay.

    Dado. I think that’s useful information about letting the bills ripen.

    I’ve had a kidney scan in July and colonoscopy in October. I will watch with interest the bills that are generated from those procedures. I got the shingles double series shot and paid for it straight up. No problem, I just wanted the shot. I also had the pharmacist at another time give me pneumonia shots which I think Medicare paid for.

    Oh my gosh I am consuming so much healthcare the past six months compared to 15 years prior. There was only the minor dog bite in that 15 year period. But even then it was not simple. I thought that was kind of a scam because when I visited the Doc in a box and he sewed me up with little fuss, he then sent me to the hand specialist up the block to avoid a scar. At the time I just acted like a Sheeple and obediently went to the hand specialist, but I should’ve just said no that’s not necessary.
    Last edited by iris lilies; 10-31-20 at 9:04am.

  5. #15
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Iris: It often works that way, no healthcare expenses for many years, and then yikes! That was my experience.
    My mother has some amazing supplemental plan from BC/BS. She goes to whatever provider she wants, everything gets covered in full and she never ever gets a bill for anything. She pays about $2600 a year for it though, and she does have significant out of pocket prescription costs, although not unaffordable.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Yppej's Avatar
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    You seem very with it IL, so this does not apply to you, but it is sad that as people age and face cognitive decline they must deal with more and more medical paperwork and bureaucracy. It should get simpler not more complex with age. Is the US the only country where things are so complex there is a whole industry of medical brokers and agents to try to help people figure out options?

  7. #17
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    You seem very with it IL, so this does not apply to you, but it is sad that as people age and face cognitive decline they must deal with more and more medical paperwork and bureaucracy. It should get simpler not more complex with age. Is the US the only country where things are so complex there is a whole industry of medical brokers and agents to try to help people figure out options?
    Jeppy this worries me. It is true that as I get older I do not want to deal with complex medical paperwork or complex financial paperwork. I thought about calling my Medicare broker for my first question but it seems like I should try to figure it out myself and I finally did. I reserved her expertise for the more complex things.

    The Medicare supplement thing is complicated and I’m paying for it more expensive than normal policy because it’s supposedly covers multiple networks, or at least doesn’t have a network limitation that others do, or somesuch thing. The network Limitations scare me to death. There a horror stories about owing thousands and thousands of dollars simply because one professional walked into your hospital room ordered a test, and that specific event was “out of network. “

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Jeppy this worries me. It is true that as I get older I do not want to deal with complex medical paperwork or complex financial paperwork. I thought about calling my Medicare broker for my first question but it seems like I should try to figure it out myself and I finally did. I reserved her expertise for the more complex things.

    The Medicare supplement thing is complicated and Iím paying for it more expensive than normal policy because itís supposedly covers multiple networks, or at least doesnít have a network limitation that others do, or somesuch thing. The network Limitations scare me to death. There a horror stories about owing thousands and thousands of dollars simply because one professional walked into your hospital room ordered a test, and that specific event was ďout of network. ď
    What about setting up a trust and having someone pay your bills for you as you get older? I was just reading Suze Orman Retirement after 50 (or whatever it is called) and she talked about one reason for setting up a fixed income annuity is to protect oneself as one develops dementia and other cognitive impairment. What if you went one step further and put money in a trust and outsourced all the bills, etc.

    My mom has had dementia for TWENTY YEARS, I realized yesterday. I think about this--what if I only have ten dependable years left with my brain--I would need to set up something now. Or at least have a gameplan for how to have a simpler retirement, and how to handle bills etc.

    While she was a very early adopter of technology, had the first Apple computer of anyone I know, she lost the ability to use the computer, to remember or find passwords, etc. So all "modern" bill paying etc. became beyond her.

    You know things are just going to get more and more complicated, or at least different, and that is a problem for people as they age, the ability to adapt to a new technology.

    I can already see in myself, as if I have a difficult phone call to make to family, I try to use my landline and not my cell phone, as muscle memory with the phone under my ear, in my hand, helps me feel normal. Because for most of my life, that was how you made a phone call.

  9. #19
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Well, we already have a trust.


    DH exerts complete control over our finances so I don’t have to worry about it, personally. A far more logical issue will be when he starts to decline mentally, will he be able to let go of the control?I’m hoping I am dead by then, or in some Alzheimer’s fog where it doesn’t bother me.

    I talk to him all the time about simplifying our lies. Simplifying the “stuff “that we have. Simplifying our bills. Simplifying our financial situation. I’m hoping that by the time I am in decline some of these thoughts will be upper most in his brain.

  10. #20
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    I often wonder and even fret about becoming unable to cope with on line bill paying, paperwork etc. I had a dream I couldn't make phone calls anymore because I couldn't read the number on the paper and hit the right keys fast enough...kept getting cut off. Then there is the who do you trust and how do you set things up and on and on and on!

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