Now that my cheaper Anthem health insurance is in place, I’ve been playing catch-up on all my routine checkups and the bills are rolling in.
A few weeks ago, my family practitioner checked my blood and urine.
I just received Anthem’s “Explanation of Benefits” listing a total of 7 Lab/Pathology items for these two tests totaling $276. Of this amount, Anthem paid exactly ZERO.
But the good news is that because Anthem’s in my corner, they tossed off $205.40 as lab greed. So I’m on the hook to pay only $70.60 in “allowable” charges. Lucky me. Nearly 75% off is what I get on this extra medical bill in addition to $378 in monthly premiums.
One $30 charge was voided, with Anthem not requiring me to pay a penny of it. I wonder what frivolous procedure they thought that was for?
I’m not complaining (well, yeah, I am, if only at Anthem’s ironclad refusal to cover preventive care to head off bigger claims in the future), but I’m wondering how healthcare providers survive by getting paid only 25% of what they think their services are worth.
Do doctors just pull these amounts out of their butts? Are they grossly inflating the cost of doing business?
Or are health insurers being allowed to systematically strangle the healthcare industry into bankruptcy as they squeeze every penny they can out of policyholders (individuals and employers), keeping the lion’s share for themselves while they do nothing but obstruct good healthcare?
If you’ve read any of my previous posts on this subject, you know what I think.
We’ve had a step in the right direction just by getting John McCain to acknowledge there’s a problem, but all of the presidential candidates have yet to propose a plan that’s anywhere near as effective as HR 676, the universal healthcare bill that’s been languishing in Congress since 2005.
If HR 676 were to pass, “Explanations of Benefits” and the insurers who spew them would be extinct, and routine preventive healthcare wouldn’t be a luxury people are increasingly unable to afford.