The bills and insurance statements for my ear/skull/brain surgery are starting to roll in, and one thing’s certain: The amount medical providers charge my insurance company is hugely different than what they charge me. I guess this is part of what people talk about when they say the US health care industry is a mess. It seems weird and dishonest for someone to send out a bill for a service that’s 10 times as much as what they expect to actually get paid. If my auto mechanic or plumber or barber or realtor did that, I’d think they were crooked. But it’s standard operating procedure in health care, apparently.
So I thought it might be fun to take a betting pool to see who can guess what the total cost of my surgery (and associated medical costs) will add up to be. Anyone interested? Maybe players can choose their guess to the nearest $1000, and I’ll give out a special prize in the end.
The amount wouldn’t include peripheral costs like travel expenses for us to travel to and stay in Louisiana for the surgery, but it would include all the regular, every day, billed prices for all the services I used. So, for example, if a tiny bottle of prescription ear drops costs me $20 through my insurance company’s prescription drug benefit, but says “Every day price: $126.17” then we’d count the larger amount for the purposes of this game. Anyone wanna play?
If not, I probably won’t bother to add up the number, because it’s kind of a pain in the ass to go through the paperwork and figure out the “regular, every day” prices for things.