It seems like every, stinkin' day, I go to the mail to find at least one or two medical bills of some sort or another waiting for me. I can't fathom a day without that cheerful little reminder, ya know?
Up til now, we've averaged around $7-9,000/month in billables to ye old hospital and dialysis clinic of choice. I've gotten over the sticker shock, and as someone who used to run numbers for a living, I'm fully aware of how in the red I am on my own personal Profit and Loss statement. But, as Heather Locklear wouls say, "Hey, I'm worth it!"
Recently, I received the first notice from our insurance denying payment for a claim submitted by the new dialysis clinic. A bill for - are you sitting down? - $30,000. Thirty-thousand dollars.... for 19 days of treatment.
Take a moment, the feeling will pass.
After scraping my jaw off the floor, I picked up the phone to call the billing department at the new clinic to see ex-act-ly what the heck they were putting in me that was worth $1578.00 a day. I'm ovviously missing out on something pretty spectacular here.
I spoke with the sweetest, most generous man from the East Coast who politely explained that I "shouldn't worry my terminally ill self over matters of finances. They can charge my insurance company anything they want. Whatever it not paid can be written off to loss at the end fo the year." He went on the explain that $15,000 was for FOUR 2ccvials of the injection I take weekly to produce red cells to fight anemia. FOUR vials, people. At those rates, it should come with someone who lives in and cleans my house in addition to injecting me twice weekly. I mean, seriously!
With that, he ended the call and hung up on me. Humph.
Back to the denial letter ... I finally talked to the insurance person, who returned my call after the twelfth message, and found out that both Medicare and my primary insurance are stating they are not primary to pay. Up until now, Medicare has been paying first, then my private insurance paid second. And I paid the rest. Not no more, darlin. Not no more.
She insisted that I needed to call Medicare and straighten it out. It's not HER problem. So off I go to Medicare phone hell.
After sitting on hold for WAY TOO LONG, a sweet young thing gets on the line with me. I wake up, remember who I called and calmly explain the sitch. I give her dates of payment, claim number blah blah blah to prove my point QUICKLY that they have always paid first, then my private insurance takes over.
Lo and Behold .... after 40 very long minutes of holding , again, while she pours over the records - we have an answer.
It seems that I have had my transplant. Yep. I'm cured!
According to Medicare, I've had my transplant, so they are no longer primary. And don't need to pay dialysis bills. No sirree!
The thing is, the procedure comes with both a time travel feature, so you don't remember it, and a magic wand option, so there is absolutely no scarring!
Modern medicine, It's a thing of beauty.
I could go into the fact that I had to argue with Miss Sweet Young Thing that in fact, no, I haven't had a transplant --- but really, it's only details.
Instead, I need to get out some long overdue thank you cards to my transplant team for doing such an amazing job. I mean, I'm late. That's rude.
What would Emily Post say?