Thanks for your replies, Raniah and Jamiee. I do understand, Raniah, that your healthcare system is different so you don't encounter the types of problems we have here. Essentially the high amounts I am required to pay are because of the people who have NO money and they use the emergency room as their dr. and then the rest of us get stuck paying their costs. It is really unfair. Jamiee, I could skip payments but in the long run I would still have to pay the full amount and it would get me behind and then I might really have trouble getting these bills off my back. I am curious if you know how long it takes before they turn it over to a collection agency? I am sure they warn you first but then if you don't make up the payments they build up. And if I have debts I may run the risk of not getting treated. And I pay such a high premium and deductible for my health insurance. It is truly robbery by the healthcare system in this country. I have about 15 mos. before I am eligible for Medicare so I am hoping I will be able to stay healthy so I won't have additional bills. I just needed to rant over this - it is so frustrating and upsetting to have to deal with the kind of people who are in these billing offices. They better hope they keep their jobs and don't get sick.
I am so sorry that you are in this bind. At our hospital any patient that cannot afford to pay their bill meets with the business office and sets up a payment plan that they can afford. Most hospitals would rather receive some payment rather then nothing at all.
Often bills get written off as people do not have the monies and as you say they end up coming to the ER's because they know they will be seen in the ER.
I just feel it makes sense to give people the chance to pay what they can. I know this has to be extremely difficult for you but you really do need to see your physicians for your disorders too so try to make some appointments.
Many hugs to you,
Kitt, I really appreciate your reply. I have payment plans all set up but the problem is that they require you to pay the whole bill in 12 months and after all my health problems my bills are huge which makes my monthly payments large. I filled out a ton of financial papers to get some relief but they are not budging on this issue. I may have to consider paying less and let them threaten me as I am still paying them every month. And even when the bill gets down to 5 or 6 payments they won't lower those to help me. Health bills are often the one thing that makes people declare bankrupty but if I did that I would hurt my credit rating and then I don't know if I would get the same care or be able to keep my drs. So I guess I am in between a rock and a hard place. I have cut everything else to the bare bones so I will just be glad when I get through the next 15 mos and can get medicare. Hope it is still around for me. If I only used the ER and didn't have health insurance I wouldn't have to pay so much. My punishment is the fact that I do have health insurance but the premiums and deductible and 20% are eating up my retirement account.
Thanks Frances for your help. I think I am feeling particularly down because my asthma has flared up bad again and struggling to breathe makes everything seem so much worse for me. Also, I am on prednisone for the asthma and it makes me a nut case, I just bounce off the walls, shake and can't sleep. So I think that is making my situation worse. I guess I am just going to have to bite the bullet and keep up with my payments the best I can. My health insurance requires that I use network providers so I have to stick with the drs I see. But since they are part of the network they always reduce down the amount I owe. For instance if the bill is $250 they may knock down what I owe to $170 so I don't ever have to pay the full amount. But the lesser amounts don't add up as quickly to cover my deductible so that is why I have so many bills. I am just trying really hard to stay well so I don't run up any more dr. bills. And I will see my oncologists in the fall. I will ask them at that time if they can somehow code the visit in a way that the charge is not so high. I know you have been through so much so you understand how difficult it is to deal with all this bureaucacy. Thanks again for caring and helping me. Just hearing from people makes me feel better.
Aurora i cant give you specific advice, cos im pretty sure we have a different style system in Australia, but i wanted you to feel loved- and calmed and hugged at this stressful time.
Thank you Mazfire for your comforting reply. I had to go to the lung specialist today again so now I am adding to my mounting health bills. But I had no choice as I just couldn't breathe from my asthma. So looks like I am going to be paying drs for several years. Your daily inspirations are so wonderful. I will look forward to them when you post them.
Thank you each and everyone of you wonderful friends. I am starting to feel a little better today. Found out that all the rain here has caused significant mold in the air and that is one of the worst triggers for my asthma. But I am taking my meds and hope I will be tip top by next week. It is great to have your support.