Oh, the reality of it all

I am now in receipt of the final bill for my brief trip to the ER back in April, and I noticed this blurb on the back:

For patients without insurance coverage, we are pleased to offer a 45% discount if the account balance is paid in full within 60 days from the date of service.

This excludes fertility treatments, but I didn’t get them, and anyway fertility is just about the last thing I need.

So I did the math, as I often do, and had I been uninsured, they’d have settled my $3183 bill for $1751. As it happens, the actual amount they’re getting, insurance plus my check, is $1785.

At least we now have an idea of what the care is really worth. Maybe.


  1. fillyjonk »

    6 June 2008 · 7:23 am

    Several years back when I went to the ER (bad reaction to fire ant stings), I got a similar bill for the non-covered part of my costs.

    It made me wonder whether it was just a nicer way of them saying, “If you don’t pay up on time, you’ll face a stiff penalty.”

  2. ms7168 »

    6 June 2008 · 7:30 am

    Insurance -plus- your check? We pay a $75. co-pay and that’s it. That just went up too ostensibly to discourage ER visits. Interestingly ours allows “urgent care” centers for less . . $30. co-pay. There is a new one in the old computer store on NW63rd and NW Distressway.

  3. Dan B »

    6 June 2008 · 9:34 am

    Every time anyone in my family has been to an ‘urgent care’ center, the center refused to do anything and referred us to the ER. Apparently their ‘doctor’ can’t write a prescription or some other BS.

    One of the centers even had the gall to try to charge us for the referral. I told that one that I would love to hear the explanation they give the judge why they deserve $38 for refusing to see me. They didn’t send another bill for some reason.

  4. Jennifer »

    6 June 2008 · 4:04 pm

    It’s all a racket. They’re guessing as much as we are.

  5. Tatyana »

    6 June 2008 · 4:49 pm

    “Maybe” is right. It’s anybody’s guess.

  6. CGHill »

    6 June 2008 · 5:22 pm

    I’ve been to one of the “urgent care” centers on occasion; only once have they ever referred me elsewhere, and it turned out I needed surgery.

    Different chains handle this differently, I suppose.

  7. Dan Paden »

    6 June 2008 · 5:28 pm

    It’s the hassle of collecting,etc. I’m told that the Amish routinely negotiate substantial discounts on medical services because they will pay cash. No filing claims, having them denied,re-submitting them,etc. Saves the doc a bundle.

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