Friday, May 11, 2012

Reality Check

Yesterday I was informed that our office is changing health insurance programs. Yikes!

I have NO experience with how insurance works and actual costs of medical care. You would think that I would know because I work in a law firm that deals with injuries (work and personal), but no, I don't.

Today I learned some interesting things about my health care costs when I've gone to the ER the last three times. I called my current insurance company and talked to the billing department.
  • November 3, 2011: I went to have an MRI of my neck to see if my cervical dystonia was causing any damage (thankfully it isn't). Cost: $2,835. My co-pay: $50.00. Peace of Mind: Priceless.
  • November 7, 2011: I pulled a muscle in my back, got serious pain meds, had a siezure, and then hung out at the ER for a few hours. Cost: $2,389.45. Really? That's it? My co-pay: $150.00.
  • April 3, 2011: Serious case of the flu (like way bad), got a bunch of fluids and basically spent the night in the ER. Cost: $1,718.75. My co-pay: $150.00. Being alive: Also priceless.
  • May 26, 2010: I crushed the very tip of my middle finger. I got an x-ray that said the very tip was broken, but there was nothing they could do for it except give me pain meds and antibiotics (it was a "compound fracture" because it was bleeding). Cost: $7,724.80. My co-pay: $150.00. Phew! Glad I didn't have a deductible!! Can you imagine the costs if I had actually broken something of value? Like my arm or leg? Goodness! Safety: Priceless. ;)

Lessons Learned:

1) I go to the ER WAY TOO MUCH!
2) Medical Bills are super expensive--even for the relatively benign things like getting the flu.
3) Deductibles are way bad. I never want to pay them.
4) I don't know how people pay their medical bills! I have a hard time paying my co-pays!

So yeah, I think it's pretty clear that I need to keep good insurance. Darn.

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