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Old 10-26-2011, 10:23 AM
 
15,246 posts, read 17,407,305 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phonelady61 View Post
Im not sure what you mean by this ^^^.. I cannot afford to make payments on anything if I did I would not be driving a 20 yr old car . I dont have any options .
If you flat out don't have any money to make a payment and don't qualify for any indigent care, I'm not sure what you're going to do. Are you sure you've checked all the resources such as clinics or church programs that might be in your area?

What I'm suggesting is that if an office visit is $120, but the negotiated Blue Cross price is $50 for an office visit and the insured pays a $20 co-pay, ask the doctor's office if you can pay $70 (or some other negotiated amount) rather than the $120.
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Old 10-26-2011, 10:45 AM
 
Location: zone 5
7,329 posts, read 13,809,481 times
Reputation: 9648
I hope you'll look into some of the suggestions. And I don't think there's anything "impolite" about saying you can't afford the fees. Now, if you wanted to say you weren't using him because you heard he was a quack, that could be a little touchy!
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Old 10-26-2011, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
25,138 posts, read 30,041,038 times
Reputation: 31244
Quote:
Originally Posted by phonelady61 View Post
Im not sure what you mean by this ^^^.. I cannot afford to make payments on anything if I did I would not be driving a 20 yr old car . I dont have any options .
What we are trying to explain is that you may have more options than you realize.

The first is to negotiate a lower price. Just like you would do with any major purchase. Marlow's suggestion to ask for the same price an insurance company has already negotiated is a good one. Just ask, "Would you accept what Aetna pays you?"

Then you ask if you can make smaller payments over a period of time, such as $25 per month.

The hospital bill is going to be more than any doctor's bill. Have you talked with the hospital? How are you going to pay them? Have you asked if they have any assistance for uninsured patients?

And make sure you are not eligible for Medicaid. There is someone in the hospital who can find out for you.

It would help if we know what state you live in and your age and the number of people in your family.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:05 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
14,364 posts, read 19,743,306 times
Reputation: 25752
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
What we are trying to explain is that you may have more options than you realize.

The first is to negotiate a lower price. Just like you would do with any major purchase. Marlow's suggestion to ask for the same price an insurance company has already negotiated is a good one. Just ask, "Would you accept what Aetna pays you?"

Then you ask if you can make smaller payments over a period of time, such as $25 per month.

The hospital bill is going to be more than any doctor's bill. Have you talked with the hospital? How are you going to pay them? Have you asked if they have any assistance for uninsured patients?

And make sure you are not eligible for Medicaid. There is someone in the hospital who can find out for you.

It would help if we know what state you live in and your age and the number of people in your family.
The social worker told me the hospital bill was written off 100% so that is a major help . she also told me when the drs from the hospital start sending the bills write a letter to them with the bill saying that the hospital wrote their bill off and maybe just maybe the dr will too . But Im not holding out hope for that one . I live in Ohio and im 50 and there is only two people in our household . See my hubby works they would go on his income . I have been out of work for 4 yrs and yes the hospital was an er sittuation .I think you have to receive food stamps to get medicaid here ,which we dont qualify for either . I m sure I will try all the suggestions but Im not sure anything will work since it has not before but of course I have never been this sick before either .I have been embarassed by more social workers than I can tell you too so it makes you not want to ask for help at all you know . They sometimes make you feel worse by treating you like your a bumm . some social workers have this Im better than you attitude and it really shows . Have any of you been treated like that by a social worker ? You remember it real well believe me .
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:07 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,344 posts, read 21,745,658 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Kim View Post
Do you know any who refused to work out payment arrangements?

I don't.
I do.

When I broke my leg, the ER said I had to follow up with a surgeon. I called the four they listed on the discharge paperwork to ask how much an office visit would be. They asked what kind of insurance I had and when I said I would be paying cash, they said they couldn't help me.

I never knew doctors wouldn't just accept money until then. I ended up on the county medical plan because no doctor would see me without insurance.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:11 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,344 posts, read 21,745,658 times
Reputation: 27162
For the OP, call 211 and find out what services are in your area.

Also, hospitals always tell you to follow up somewhere. They do that to cover their butts in case they missed something while you were there, or discharged you sooner than they should have. If you were in the hospital for something that needs surgery or an obvious followup (like staples that have to come out) then you definitely need to follow up (unless you can remove your own staples...I've done it before to save a few bucks). If you were there for somthing like an infection and they gave you prescriptions to treat it, then you can probably use your judgement to figure out if you really need to follow up somewhere.
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
25,138 posts, read 30,041,038 times
Reputation: 31244
Quote:
Originally Posted by phonelady61 View Post
The social worker told me the hospital bill was written off 100% so that is a major help . she also told me when the drs from the hospital start sending the bills write a letter to them with the bill saying that the hospital wrote their bill off and maybe just maybe the dr will too . But Im not holding out hope for that one . I live in Ohio and im 50 and there is only two people in our household . See my hubby works they would go on his income . I have been out of work for 4 yrs and yes the hospital was an er sittuation .I think you have to receive food stamps to get medicaid here ,which we dont qualify for either . I m sure I will try all the suggestions but Im not sure anything will work since it has not before but of course I have never been this sick before either .I have been embarassed by more social workers than I can tell you too so it makes you not want to ask for help at all you know . They sometimes make you feel worse by treating you like your a bumm . some social workers have this Im better than you attitude and it really shows . Have any of you been treated like that by a social worker ? You remember it real well believe me .
So sorry about your experience with the social workers. My son is an MSW and works in a hospital. He's a real pussycat and really cares about his patients, and I get the impression his coworkers do, also. He works in a for profit hospital now, but he has also worked in a state hospital in the past.

Believe it or not, the vast majority of doctors do a lot of free care. Do not just assume there is no hope. Do as you were advised when the bills start to come in.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:52 PM
 
2,676 posts, read 3,837,395 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
I think that's solid advice. OP, please don't ever think you have to feel less-than for being poor. Some of the best people are.

In my opinion, doctors who run their practices merely to make tons of money and not to treat those who need their care are the ones who need to apologize.
A practice is still a business. Secretaries, nurses, everyone else still expects to be paid.

To the OP, if your condition was that serious, the hospital social worker may be able to qualify you for medicare/medicaid. Some hospitals have residents' clinics that are free. The doctor you were referred to may see you as a charity case. Use the hospital's resources, but by all means make sure someone follows your care. Good luck.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,662 posts, read 76,349,359 times
Reputation: 36232
I would ask if he has any kind of a plan to adjust his fee schedule in order to make payment easier on low-income patients, because you're not sure you can continue to be seen by him. Or tell him you understand that a lot of health care providers charge insurance companies less than uninsured patients, and ask if he can meet you somewhere in the middle.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:33 AM
 
2,676 posts, read 3,837,395 times
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Ditto.
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