How are you handling the bills?

Don’t get mad for me asking, it’s just kindof been on my mind. How are those lovely hospital/doctor bills treating ya? Any comments on the matter?

Amber I’VE BEEN TREATED FAIRLEY.I could never pay them what they deserve for saving my life. God Bless them all. Mike O’Brien

If you are in the States, there is a lot of news lately around fraudulent billing practices.

“Medical Bills You Shouldn’t Pay” BusinessWeek. Aug 28th, 2008.

I am getting confused about all this. Evidently I owe over $400 for my first catscan because my insurance requires prior approval for scans that aren’t considered an emergency or done in the hospital. I am thinking of protesting to my insurance company because how was I supposed to know the catscan required prior approval!

For those in the U.S.:

Also, if are treated in a large hospital for a bleed or an emergency, don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance programs. Especially if you have insurance that covered most of the bill already, hospitals have budgets allocated to helping those who cannot pay. You have to submit financial paperwork (US: 1040), but it’s worth the effort if you owe thousands.

Much better to talk to the billing office of hospitals proactively then to wait until collections agencies start calling.

I agree, saving my life IS worth all the money in the world, yet still I would like to know how much my bill will be…(I haven’t had embo’s/crani yet)

We have been fortunate with decent insurance and disability, but the credit cards are still mounting up with me out of work and all the co-pays.

lianne, did that affect which doctor and hospital you could go to?


I am very fortunate, I don’t have to pay for anything. I am a military dependent, so our insurance covers EVERYTHING. No copays or any medical bills. I don’t know what I would do if I had to pay for all this, ya know?

I think I am going to get a case manager to help me deal with all of this. Of course she works for the insurance company so I kind of wonder where her loyalties will lie. Has anybody had experience with this?

Amber, you will have a case manager at Duke and if you have BCBS insurance you will also hear from a case manager. I was told it would take a while for the bills from the surgery to come in. I had reached my max for what I had to pay before the crani but BCBS can still refuse to pay some charges. You can still appeal things. I am interested to see how much my totals will be with an attempted Embolization, craniotomy, medical induced coma for a week or so, 10 days in ICU, 3 days in a step down unit and a ton of medicine!!! Dont worry yours won’t be that long! I will announce how much my brain cost when I get the bills.

My insurance covers most of mine. I’m in for the long haul with an expected 2 years or more of treatments. I do have to pay copays and have a $3500 out of pocket max each year. I AM worried about reaching my lifetime max of 1 million. Seven treatments in, my insurance has already paid out about half of that. So I’m not sure what will happen when I reach my max. The one treatment I had with all of the coils billed my insurance roughly $200k alone.
My major expense has been traveling every four weeks to Denver for treatments. But I’m earning my flight points, have had family and friends donate, and even have a friend who now lets me use her condo instead of a hotel.
I also had to pay for my HBOT out of pocket because insurance considers it “experimental.” I’m appealing, but still that was $10k that I’m not expecting to get back. I would ABSOLUTELY pay for it again though because it worked! And my wound is almost completely healed.
The financial aspect of dealing with a serious medical condition can be daunting. I guess I’m lucky cause I have a lot of support from family and friends. I just look at it as debt that I am willing to accumulate because I will now LIVE long enough to pay it off!!!

Not to get too much off-topic, but in the US we have a presidential election in a couple of months. Each candidate has his own proposals on health care, so it’s good to understand where they stand.

This topic hits close to home, because I was recently denied individual coverage from Humana One because of this pre-existing condition, even though I had full coverage with Aetna as a student just days before and it is now obliterated.

I am not a profitable customer to Humana One, so now I am a firm proponent of good universal coverage. Not everything should be about short-term profitability. Paved roads are a good thing for society, but are probably not profitable in the short-term.

I’m no real expert, so I’ll just offer some sites to learn more:

im worried about being able to get insurance in a couple years when i finish college. i know that i will be covered on my parents until i graduate but will my prexisting condition prevent me from getting coverage? (i also have asthma…)

Hi, Amber-
I am incredibly thankful that I had insurance.
I saw the bills and they exceeded $100,000. That was just for the bleed, intensive care, medicvac helicopter, etc.
Since I lost my job I am still paying for my own insurance, but I have to otherwise I’d be bankrupt.

It’s CRAZY that we have to go though all this insanity all while having to deal with an illness. I am an RN myself and I’ll tell you this, I will definately be a different nurse after all this. I am wondering if I will be able to get insurance later on down the road. I am not really sure how I would find out… I guess I’ll just have to wait and see… not worry about that now! I figure it’s better to pay for the rest of my life and be alive and well! Thanks to all of you for your responses. Glad I’m not the only one who feels overwhelmed with the financial aspect of this… :wink:

no bcbs… Medcost. I like that statement “how much my brain cost” I’ll have to use that one too! :slight_smile:

I’m worried about my 15 year old son for thr same reason, Jessica. He has cystic fibrosis and I’'m so afraid that he won’t be able to get insured.

We have the best healthcare in the world. Drug companies must continue to make a profit otherwise they will be forced to curtail research and development ie; discovery of new cures etc. I think we need to be better stewards of our assets and live within our means. I lost my home, my cars were repoed and became bankrupt. not because of my brain injury, but because I was unwise with my personal finances. Otherwise I would have been allright. I am starting all over now, only with much more wisdom. We don’t need beaurocrats and marxists running our healthcare or our Government. “I would rather be dead than red” Mike O’Brien Grateful survivor