Monday, September 19, 2011
The mail brought a few Summary Notices today, because I recently had a bunch of tests done. They prove to me once more that we wouldn’t need insurance if the medical providers billed the same as the insurance pays. I have Medicare, and Mail Handlers to back it up, and still get to pay for plenty of stuff every year anyhow. The billing went like this:
Ultrasound of the abdomen (looking for cancer spread from kidney) $865 billed, $90.86 paid from both insurers.
CAT scan of neck with contrast - $3796.97 billed, $319.48 paid by two insurers.
CAT scan of neck and chest (two scans with dye) - $5103.61 billed, $593.23 paid by insurance.
Angiogram of carotid artery - $17,380.13 billed, $3146.45 paid by insurance.
That totals $27,145.71 billed, and $4,150.02 paid by Medicare and the copayment. That is a combined payout of 15.29 per cent of the bill, or looked at another way, billing that is 6.54 times what they are willing to do it for.
You can buy Medicare Insurance if you’re are not eligible for it, and if I pretend that neither my wife nor I had Medicare and we bought and paid for both it and Mail handler’s, we would be paying almost $30,000 every year. That translates into $196,000 worth of health care. On the other hand, the $30,000 would cost about $4587 per year, which is a lot less than I pay out of pocket now, let alone the total insurance cost. When I had a bypass operation, the total bills came to about $113,000, and the total payments were about $13,000. That’s an even larger ratio, and the visits to an internist are paid at a much higher ratio of the billed amount. In fact, my neurologist used to bill just what Medicare would pay. Once again, if I could get the rates Medicare gets I wouldn’t need insurance.