Hospital bills

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Ecb
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 12/5/2008 7:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and took every option I could to heal. My provider suggested I enter into their program and proceeded to contact my insurance company about my benefits, who stated that I was good to go. But the insurance co. also voiced their disclaimer, "This is not a guarantee of benefits." I was unaware of this statement. Trusting in the hospital and insurance company, I went ahead with the program. I now owe a bill that I cannot pay, and both the hospital and insurance co. claim that it is my responsibility, that I should have known more about my benefits. At the time I was too busy fighting for my life, so I just didn't know what to ask. I believe it should have been the hospital's responsibility to verify fully if I was eligible for benefits. Has anyone else had this problem?


(I added a subject line -- serafena)

Post Edited By Moderator (serafena) : 12/6/2008 9:11:01 AM (GMT-7)


serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 12/6/2008 9:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ecb,

Welcome to HealingWell and our board. I hope you will find some support and sympathetic ears here.

I know many of us are fighting with insurance claims and disability payments and question of how we're going to pay for our care, so I'm sure you'll find that sort of camaraderie here. In the battle with the insurance co and the hospital, though, I think you're probably going to lose. They have you sign those contracts to protect them. I agree the hospital should have done more to check that you were covered. Nonetheless, as you say, you were fighting for your life. Regardless of cost, you needed to be there. If you knew you couldn't afford it, would you have walked away? You needed to be in the hospital.

It's time to set up a realistic payment plan with the hospital. Most know their bills can't be paid in full instantly and will happily set up payment plans. I was also in the hospital and ended up with a large bill AFTER the insurance paid its portion.

Good luck to you and keep writing. Let us know how you're doing and how bipolar is treating you know.

serafena
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


Ecb
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 12/6/2008 10:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks very much for the reply--yeah, I'm working on the Charity Care package now. I also found a woman in the financial department who was very eager to help, and claimed she believed the hospital should have taken more steps to verify eligibility.

I want to work with the provider; I have some savings, and I want to pay my fair share. I don't want them to take the bill away. I want them to acknowledge that this whole scenario could have been prevented and take steps to improve their process. When I got this bill I freaked out and nearly returned to the inpatient ward again. The worst part was that the provider suggested I was at fault, which drove me lower. I'm at a much more effective place right now and can manage this type of stress, but at the time, no possible way.

Just to pose a counter-thought: it's true, I may have undergone their treatment regardless of benefits, but I would also have explored my options--or at least have someone help me. There are less expensive facilities, and closer to home. I am glad, however, that I received their care, because they did indeed help a great deal.

I believe that we can hold hospitals accountable for the security of their patients, which they can do by asking the right questions. It may be difficult to know what those are. I'm sure the system will evolve one day so we don't have to fret the monetary repercussions of life-threatening illness.

thanks again

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 12/6/2008 10:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh boy do I dare to dream about that day. That would be beautiful. I truly believe it's a crime we should have to endure this choice at all: money or medical care. (Steps off soapbox.)
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II


Ecb
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 12/6/2008 11:39 AM (GMT -7)   
heh heh heh
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